As part of a broader overview of the Guardians’ 40-man roster, Zack Meisel of the Athletic suggests southpaw Logan Allen could be a possible trade candidate. Allen, not to be confused with a Double-A pitching prospect of the same name, is out of minor league option years. Cleveland therefore needs to carry the 24-year-old on the active roster or make him available to other clubs. The Guardians are currently projected to open the year with a starting five of Shane Bieber, Aaron Civale, Zach Plesac, Cal Quantrill and Triston McKenzie.
It’s possible Allen lands a spot in a bullpen that could also include Sam Hentges and Anthony Gose as left-handed options. Allen has worked primarily as a starter throughout his professional career, though. He’s yet to find much big league success, posting a 5.89 ERA/5.19 SIERA across 88 2/3 career innings, but he appeared on top 100 prospect lists at Baseball America and MLB Pipeline heading into 2019 and has excellent numbers up through Double-A.
Meisel also looks at the position player group in a piece that’ll be of interest to Cleveland fans. Notably, he points out that the club will likely have to add a catcher to the roster before the start of the season, with only Austin Hedges and prospect Bryan Lavastida (who has scant Triple-A experience) currently on the 40-man. The Guardians brought in veteran Sandy León on a minor league deal in November. He currently seems the favorite for the #2 job behind Hedges, but he’d have to be formally selected to the 40-man roster once the team breaks camp.
More notes from around the league:
- After missing nearly two full seasons on account of a February 2020 Tommy John surgery, Luis Severino returned to the Yankees late last season. He made four regular season appearances in relief, tallying a combined six innings, before working 1 1/3 frames during the Wild Card game loss to the Red Sox. Severino told Andy Martino of SNY this week (Twitter link) that he’s been throwing bullpen sessions and remains on track to return to the starting rotation in 2022, as expected. It’s not clear how many innings New York can bank on from Severino, who also only logged twelve frames in 2019 due to shoulder issues. They’ll no doubt be cautious with the 27-year-old righty’s workload, but Severino would be a highly valuable piece of the Yankees pitching staff if he’s able to return at peak form on a rate basis. In his last two healthy seasons (2017-18), he posted a 3.18 ERA with an excellent 28.8% strikeout rate.
- The 2021 campaign was a massive struggle for Keston Hiura. The former ninth overall pick struck out in an untenable 39.1% of his plate appearances, and the Brewers accordingly optioned him to Triple-A Nashville on multiple occasions. It marked the second straight year of struggles for Hiura, who burst onto the MLB scene with a .303/.368/.570 showing in 348 plate appearances as a rookie in 2019. Will Sammon of the Athletic wrote this week that the right-handed hitter is working with a longtime personal coach to simplify his mechanics and tone down his leg kick in an effort to improve his contact rate. With Kolten Wong and Rowdy Tellez in place at second and first base, respectively, the Brewers aren’t likely to rely on Hiura as an everyday option out of the gate. Last fall, president of baseball operations David Stearns suggested he could see some time in the outfield to offer manager Craig Counsell more flexibility in working him into the lineup at multiple positions.