The 2023 Cleveland Guardians season has only a few games left, and with that comes the analysis of what went right and wrong for the team. Bleacher Report's Zachary D. Rymer put together a list compiling Every MLB Team's Pride and Shame from the 2023 Regular Season. The selections for the Guardians are very much of the expected variety.
When it comes to the pride section, it is their pitching. Cleveland found themselves up against it early regarding their pitching staff. An injury to Triston McKenzie in his last spring training start, combined with some lackluster performances from replacement arms, in addition to further injuries, put the Guardians in a bad spot. Luckily, Cleveland's wealth of young arms in the minor leagues came to the rescue.
The combination of Tanner Bibee, Gavin Williams, and Logan Allen carried this pitching staff and kept this team afloat much longer than anyone could have reasonably anticipated. Bibee's performance this season even saw him earn the honor of the Guardians' best pitcher. Fellow rookie Xzavion Curry was also able to contribute in multiple roles for the ballclub.
Cleveland's pitching factory continues to churn out reliable arms that should become mainstays in the Guardians' rotation. It could even lead to making what would have been tough decisions involving other arms a little more tolerable.
This can be filed under the most expected entry in this list, Cleveland's lack of power in their lineup. The Guardians are dead last in home runs this season with 121 entering the final series of the season, and it will remain that way as the 29th-ranking Washington Nationals have 25 more round-trippers this season.
Cleveland attempted to improve upon their second-to-last total from last year (127) by signing Mike Zunino and Josh Bell. Zunino and Bell were free-agent flops, with the Guardians moving on from both during the season. With just three games left on the schedule, there is a very real possibility that they finish with less this season.
The Guardians have to do something of substance this offseason to rectify their continued issues in this area. This is a ball club that is expected to be in some level of contention, with the baseline being the division and advancing at least once next postseason being something that should be attainable. But in order for them to accomplish either, they will need to add multiple competent bats through free agency or trade, as expecting their prospects to come up and produce what is needed is not reasonable.