Latest update on Ben Lively is a cause for concern for the Cleveland Guardians

Cleveland Guardians v Miami Marlins
Cleveland Guardians v Miami Marlins / Rich Storry/GettyImages

The state of the Cleveland Guardians' pitching staff was already not in the best shape and was something that needed to be addressed before the MLB trade deadline. While the Guardians have been able to take a wait-and-see approach so far, they may have to act with a sense of urgency now due to Ben Lively returning to Cleveland after exiting his last start in Miami.

Paul Hoynes of reported that Lively experienced some tightness in his outing against the Marlins, which is why he is set to undergo further assessment and testing back in Cleveland.

"Manager Stephen Vogt said after Saturday’s game that Lively tightened up during the top of the fifth inning when the Guardians scored six runs and sent 11 batters to the plate. He pitched the bottom of the fifth, but that ended his night."

Paul Hoynes

Even though there is nothing that sounds too alarming about Lively's injury, the fact he was removed from his last start and will undergo additional testing is somewhat concerning. This could all be the organization taking extra precautions with Lively, considering that they only have two games between Monday and Thursday, and he was not scheduled to make his next start until this upcoming Saturday in Toronto. There is even the possibility they could skip Lively's spot in the rotation to provide Lively with additional time between starts and just bump everyone else up a day.

2024 has been a breakout year for Lively. Cleveland agreed to terms with the veteran this past offseason to very little fanfare, but the one-year deal the Guardians signed him to is proving to be one of the best bargain contracts signed by any organization. Lively has career-bests in ERA (2.59) and WHIP (1.114) in 55.2 innings while recording wins in six of his 10 starts this season. This performance has made up for the very early season loss of Shane Bieber and has helped the Guardians ascend to the top of the American League Central. That could be in jeopardy should Lively miss an extended period, as their rotation has more than a few question marks in it at this moment. In the meantime, the Guardians and their fans will all hold their collective breaths as they wait to hear the results on Lively.