Guardians Spring Training: Gavin Williams scratched with elbow discomfort

Minnesota Twins v Cleveland Guardians
Minnesota Twins v Cleveland Guardians / Ron Schwane/GettyImages

There was a seemingly last-minute change as to who the Cleveland Guardians were having start Sunday's Spring Training contest against the Cincinnati Reds. It was Xzavion Curry taking the mound for Cleveland while planned starter Gavin Williams was scratched.

Guardians manager Stephen Vogt stated that Williams was injured during a weighted ball routine and that he felt some elbow discomfort following an awkward throw. Even though this appears to be a total doom and gloom scenario, Vogt said that this decision was made as a precautionary measure, with Williams expected to throw again in the next few days. 

While they are not through the wood just yet, it does seem like the Guardians have avoided an all-out disaster at this time. The fact that Williams is not being shut down entirely with a timeline of weeks to months definitely appears to be a good sign. Of course, Williams does have to get through throwing routines and workouts without incident first before the all-clear can be declared. But once that happens, everyone will be able to breathe a much-needed collective sigh of relief.

The Guardians are counting on Williams to build upon his impressive rookie season to help solidify their rotation. Williams was one of three rookies last year who came in and kept the Guardians season afloat much longer than anyone could have really anticipated at that time. The Guardians' young trio of Williams, Tanner Bibee, and Logan Allen are in a position to carry the torch of what has been some outstanding pitching groups in recent years.

Williams appeared in 16 games as a rookie in 2023, sporting an ERA of 3.29 and WHIP of 1.256 while striking out just under nine batters per nine innings. Even though Williams finished with a record of 3-5 on the year, that is not the best way to judge his performance, considering the lackluster offense last year, in addition to the previously mentioned statistics that paint a much better picture of his first year in the bigs. Expect Williams to take a step forward in 2024 to further cement his status as a key cog in the Guardians' pitching rotation.