Even in their highly successful 2022 campaign, theCleveland Guardiansdidn t have an explosive offense.
Pitching, defense, baserunning, and small ball were in the team s DNA.
Homers and power hitting?
Not so much.
Then, 2023 came along and it was more of the same for the Guards.
They didn t even hit for average in their first 50 games, with a .225 mark that was the 28th in MLB.
They were also last in the league in OPS and runs scored over that span.
Things, however, are changing.
Guardians Offense 2023
1st 50 Games:
.225 BA (28th in MLB)
.636 OPS (Last in MLB)
370 Hits (29th in MLB)
173 Runs (Last in MLB)
After 1st 50 Games:
.289 BA (2nd in MLB)
.768 OPS (8th in MLB)
219 Hits (2nd in MLB)
104 Runs (12th in MLB)pic.twitter.com/KYb2XaojGy
Cleveland Stats (@CLE_STATS) June 19, 2023
After the 50-game mark, it appears that the Guardians lineup is heating up, just in time to make a charge for the first place in the AL Central.
It s the worst division in baseball: the best team, the Minnesota Twins, are 36-37.
At 33-38, Cleveland is just two games away.
If their offense starts clicking, they have enormous potential.
Their recent performance can probably be attributed to several bats waking up from their early-season doldrums.
One of them is Andres Gimenez, who is up to a .244/.309/.378 line with five homers and seven steals after a monumentally bad start.
Another one is Josh Naylor, one of the few above-average hitters in the Guardians lineup besides, of course, Jose Ramirez.
Naylor has been red-hot as of late and is up to eight home runs and 53 RBI.
If his brother Bo is as good as advertised, he has the potential to return above-average offensive production at catcher, too.
Slowly, but surely, the Guardians offense seems to be coming around, and with their deep pitching and excellent bullpen, they could become truly competitive.