The 2023 Futures Game is a little over a week away with some of the most highly regarded minor league talent expected to take part. One individual that would be of interest to fans of the Cleveland Guardians? Joey Cantillo.
Cantillo has been named to the American League roster for the Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game taking place Saturday July 8th in Seattle. The 23-year old is the Guardians lone representative in the Futures Game and is one of only two left-handed pitchers on the American League roster.
Part of a 2020 deal which saw Josh Naylor, Austin Hedges, Cal Quantrill, Gabriel Arias, and Owen MIller come to Cleveland in exchange for Mike Clevinger, Greg Allen, and Matt Waldron, Cantillo has been working his way through the minor league system at a pretty impressive rate the past few sesaons.
Cantillo spent all of 2022 with the Double-A Akron RubberDucks, finishing with a 1.93 ERA, 1.088 WHIP, and 12.9 strikeouts per nine in 60.2 innings. Unfortunately his season came to a premature end due to shoulder soreness, resulting in Cantillo missing the final two months of the season.
2023 saw Cantillo begin with Akron before being moved up to Triple-A Columbus later in the year. The results have taken a bit of a step back with the Cliippers with a 4.76 ERA, 1.500 WHIP, and 10.3 strikeouts per nine in Triple-A.
In an ideal world Cantillo can continue to refine his pitching arsenal to hopefully join the Guardians sooner rather than later. Cleveland is actively working through their pitching options at the major league level with some shuffling of that group seemingly coming up in the near future. If Cantillo is able to improve his performance in Triple-A and prove worthy of being called up to the big leagues, it could result in the Guardians front office being a bit more proactive in terms of trading some major league arms in exchange for some much needed bats.