The case for Myles Straw to remain in Cleveland continues to lose strength by the day.
There once was a time that Straw appeared to be a solid yet unexciting option in the Guardians' outfield. Straw came to Cleveland from Houston and was able to produce league-average offense with impressive defensive prowess. Unfortunately, both of these attributes no longer apply to the current version of Straw.
Straw has seen his performance at the plate plummet since his first season with the Guardians. Going from a .285/.362/.377 slash line in his first 41 games to .229/.296/.284 in his next 299 games in Cleveland. The drop in production in 2022 was somewhat tolerable, considering he was one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball last season. However, that is not the case this year, as his defensive metrics have also seen a decrease.
In 2022, Straw was one of the best outfielders in baseball in the outs above average department. Straw was fourth when compared to all outfielders and third among centerfielders (13). Those rankings would drop to 30th and 21st, respectively with five OAA in 2023. Runs prevented would also drop from 12 to five. Straw's fielding runs above average based on ultimate zone rating also dropped from 13.6 and -1.2. With these across-the-board drops defensively, it is no wonder why he was not included in the Guardians' group of Gold Glove finalists.
So if Straw is not able to hit and his defense is not at the same level as it once was, what are we doing here? It is incredible to justify his spot on the roster if he does not bring anything notable to the table. The Guardians have to find better options in the outfield and replace everyone not named Steven Kwan. Cleveland needs to find a way to unload Straw, and the contract he is signed to continues to age like milk in the hot sun. Continuing to roster him and give him more playing time than he deserves is not only an insult to the fanbase but the game of baseball. The Guardians need to move on and replace the offensive black hole that is Straw.