No need to mess around, Guardians should start season with Kyle Manzardo on big league roster

San Francisco Giants v Cleveland Guardians
San Francisco Giants v Cleveland Guardians / Jason Miller/GettyImages

An absolute no-brainer of a decision is staring the Cleveland Guardians in the face and yet, it appears that the organization is going to make the wrong choice.

The player in question is 23-year-old first-base prospect Kyle Manzardo. There is a clear path to playing time on Cleveland's major league roster, but it seems like the Guardians prefer to have him begin the year down in Triple-A with the Columbus Clippers, according to a report from The Athletic's Jason Lloyd.

"Kyle Manzardo will probably open the year in Class AAA. Guardians officials reiterated in the offseason the difficulty of hitting in Cleveland in April and how a slow start can bury young hitters." this is what Lloyd had to say on the matter in a recent post for The Athletic (subscription required). This is hardly the development anyone wanted to hear regarding Manzardo's chances of beginning the season in the majors. 

The truly unfortunate aspect of this is that the Guardians could very well end up in a very familiar situation as last season, with a rookie finishing within the top two in Rookie of the Year Award voting that keeping them down for control purposes backfires (Tanner Bibee's second-place finish granted him a full year of service time). It would be an incredibly bad look for the organization if one of their rookies were to be awarded a full year of service time with a top-two finish for the second straight year despite not actually accumulating that time.

There is a clear and obvious solution to this potential problem. Have Manzardo be a part of the Guardians' lineup on Opening Day. Manzardo could split time at first base and DH with Josh Naylor, which is an inevitable position grouping and split that everyone can see from 1,000 miles away. Why not get out ahead of this and put out a lineup that is going to happen sooner rather than later anyway. It would truly be in the best interest of Manzardo, the organization, and the rest of the moving parts on the roster. All the Guardians have to do is accept that fact and do what every single person knows is the correct course of action.