The Cleveland Guardians have settled on which day recently acquired starting pitcher Lucas Giolito will make his team debut.
It will come Monday, the first game of their upcoming crucial series with the visiting Minnesota Twins. Cleveland is fighting to stay in the American League Central division mix, and finding a way to take at least two of three against Minnesota would go a long way for their cause. Kicking off their series with a veteran who has seen the Twins plenty of times is a good start.
Giolito has held the Twins to a .194/.286/.361 slash line in 180 at-bats, with 12 of their 35 hits going for extra bases. Max Kepler has done most of the damage, collecting 12 hits, including three home runs, while also registering a double and a triple. The fact that Giolito has been burned by Kepler makes him fit right in with the Guardians, as he has tortured Cleveland pitchers for a considerable amount of time.
2023 has been a tale of two cities (soon to be three) for Giolito. The former White Sox pitcher appeared to be back to his former self before being traded to Los Angeles. In 21 starts, Giolito had a 3.79 ERA and 1.223 WHIP, his best marks in those areas since 2021. Giolito was not as successful with The Angels, registering a 6.89 ERA and 1.469 WHIP in six games, allowing 25 runs (28 total) on 33 hits in only 32.2 innings.
Perhaps moving back to a division that he is very familiar with will result in Giolito returning to his former form, again. The Guardians have nine games remaining against American League Central opponents, and he should make starts against at least two of them.
The Guardians believe that they can make a push for the American League Central division crown, and a return to form from Giolito could make that a possiblity.