The Cleveland Guardians have been one of the most surprising teams in the first half of this season. We didn’t believe the Guardians could be playoff contenders entering the 2022 season. We thought the Chicago White Sox were going to run away with this division, but they’ve also dealt with injuries all year long. The Guardians had three representatives participate in the All-Star Game.
How are the Guardians getting it done? What’s been their secret to their first half success?
Well, we can start with their best player. Jose Ramirez is Jose Ramirez. We know what he’s capable of doing for this Guardians team. He’s looking like the best he’s ever been. Ramirez is leading this team with his bat. He leads the team in home runs (19), RBIs (75) and on-base percentage (.368). Ramirez is not doing it all alone. His other teammates have stepped up and impressed many of us—for example, Andres Gimenez.
The 23-year-old shortstop from Venezuela has been sensational and an asset to the Guardians lineup. Giménez batted nearly .300 in the first half and because of that, he was elected to the All-Star Game and started as a replacement for the injured José Altuve.
Amed Rosario has us up solid numbers for the Guardians. He’s been an excellent addition to this team with his bat and gloves. Rosario finished the first half with 99 hits. Steven Kwan was one of the Guardian’s hottest hitters early in the season. He has slowed down, but he’s slowly picking it back up and getting into the groove again.
Pitcher Tristan McKenzie is one of the biggest surprises for the Guardian’s impressive start. McKenzie has been pitching like an All-Star for the Guardians. He’s caught the attention of baseball fans and writers. He led the pitching staff in wins (7). One of the things McKenzie needs to improve is to increase his strikeout numbers in the second half.
Regarding strikeouts, pitcher Shane Bieber leads the Guardians in strikeouts (106). McKenzie and Bieber can be the ultimate 1-2 punch in the rotation if they can correct their mistakes and stay consistent. Pitching wins titles.
Emmanuel Clase has been a solid closer for the Guardians. He finished the first half with 19 saves. He’s the third member of the Guardians to make the All-Star team.
Guardians are 9th in batting average (.249), which is not so bad. However, they are 15th on-base percentage (.314) and rank 17th in runs (391). They need to outscore their opponents and get on base more often if they want to take this division by the throat and not let the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox take it from them.