The Guardians suffered a 10-2 defeat to the Yankees and also lost outfielder Steven Kwan to right hamstring tightness in the third inning. Kwan started the game in left field and made his first two plate appearances before being replaced in the field in the bottom of the third. Guardians manager Terry Francona told MLB.com’s Joe Trezza and other reporters that it was a “preventative” removal for Kwan, and that the outfielder is day-to-day.
Making his MLB debut on Opening Day, Kwan has been one of the season’s early stories, hitting a whopping .341/.456/.500 over his first 57 plate appearances. Quite a bit of that production came in Kwan’s first five games, yet there is still plenty of hope that the rookie can stick as Cleveland’s everyday left fielder. Depending on his hamstring’s status, however, Kwan might soon be making his first trip to the big league IL. Kwan missed almost seven weeks of the 2021 Triple-A season while dealing with a strain of that same right hamstring.
More injury updates from around the AL Central…
- Kyle Funkhouser has yet to pitch this season due to a right shoulder strain, and the Tigers moved him yesterday from the 10-day IL to the 60-day IL. “We’re trying to resolve the symptoms before we can progress more aggressively,” Hinch said. “The timeline made it virtually impossible for him to be back prior to the 60 days,” manager A.J. Hinch told reporters (including The Detroit News’ Chris McCosky). Hinch also noted that Funkhouser is speaking with doctors about whether or not surgery could be required, so the reliever could be facing a much longer absence than just the minimum 60 days.
- In other Tigers news, Hinch said that Casey Mize will be resuming his throwing program today at the team’s spring training facility in Lakeland. Mize was placed on the 10-day IL on April 15 with a sprained MCL, though there were already early indications that the former first overall pick wouldn’t be out of action for too long, and that he has escaped a more serious injury. Matt Manning is also headed to Lakeland but won’t yet begin throwing, as his right shoulder was still feeling some discomfort when Manning threw off flat ground yesterday. Despite this update, Hinch said Manning didn’t have “a setback. It’s nothing we are overly concerned about. It’s just a slower ramp to playing catch before we get him back on the mound.”
- Twins outfielder Alex Kirilloff is slated to begin a Triple-A rehab assignment on Tuesday, according to multiple reporters (including Betsy Helfand of The St. Paul Pioneer Press). Right wrist inflammation sent Kirilloff to the injured list on April 13, so between the injury absence and a dismal 1-for-17 start to the season, Kirilloff will be looking for a reset once he returns to Minnesota’s lineup. Most importantly, Kirilloff and the Twins hope that this is the end of his wrist problems, as the former top prospect also underwent ligament surgery last year.
I’ll never understand the teams that emphasize drafting pitchers in the top 15 over and over. The opportunity for injury is far too great. Wish the Tigers would have spent the last half decade drafting fielders instead of pitchers… grab your pitchers via FA and trades.
Exactly. Why waste draft picks on a player who might touch the ball up to 90, 100 times in a game vs a 2B who will handle the ball 5-10 times. Great consideration!
Because if you don’t draft them, you forfeit the opportunity to have them on your team. Great take.
You also discount the batting that pitchers do not contribute from your entire argument. The fielder gets 20 at bats during those 90 or so pitches, in addition to 20-40 times touching the ball – not 5-10. Because the pitcher only pitches every 5 days.
You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Trust your talent evaluators and hope for success and health.
In the first round of last year’s draft, 15 position players were picked and 14 pitchers. Among front offices, obviously there isn’t a universal preference for one over the other. Teams have different needs and possibly different drafting philosophies. However, the notion that a pitcher would be more highly valued based on how often he handles the ball is faulty, downvoter.
A starting position player plays far more games than any pitcher plays.
The top 10 pitchers in fWAR last year combined for a total 56.2 fWAR.
The top 10 position players in fWAR last year combined for a total 65.3 fWAR.
FWAR is skewed towards hitters 52/48 according to Jaffe. I don’t disagree tho
Still, the fWAR for pitchers, then, would be 60.3 to equal a ratio of 52/48, wouldn’t it?
Yes I agree with your statement it just needs the qualifier IMO. A top hitter is more productive than pitcher
In the aggregate, yes, but not necessarily on an individual basis.
The top pitcher in fWAR last year was Corbin Burnes, with 7.5 fWAR. The top hitter was Fernando Tatis, with 7.3 fWAR. Wheeler (7.5) topped Semien (7.3) as the leading pitcher and position player in bWAR, respectively; but, as noted above, the cumulative WAR — both bWAR and fWAR — was higher for the top 10 position players than for the top 10 pitchers. But we can’t make a blanket statement that a hitter is more productive than a pitcher, because there are exceptions.
It’s relatively easy to find and develop position players as opposed to pitchers. Many FO’s over the past 25-30 years have gone that way. But here’s the problem…..
If a franchise cannot scout, develop, and maintain pitchers at the ML level then they’ll always be short-term contenders. Epstein’s Cubs and Preller’s Padres are prime examples. First off, you have to trade multiple solid position players (usually prospects) to get established pitchers. Oftentimes the pitcher comes in and has a great first year or so. But after the coaching staff has been working with him for a while, the pitcher deteriorates. Then the FO has to go back out looking for more pitchers.
The perennial contenders scout, develop, and maintain pitchers – Astros, Rays, Brewers, Giants, Dodgers. They also stress strong defense led by a catching core that can handle pitchers – knowing that defense supports pitching, not hitting.
I think drafting a high quantity of pitchers is possibly BECAUSE so many get injured. You need a bunch cuz only a few make it.
That strategy worked out so well for the Cubs.
Justin Verlander…that is all
The Tigers have spent ALOT of draft picks on awful pitchers over the last 20 years (Justin Thompson, Nate Cornejo, Rick Green, Seth Greisinger, Kenny Baugh, Matt Anderson, Kyle Sleeth, Jacob Turner,etc) and all in the 1st round! But don’t forget they’ve also drafted some fantastic pitchers in the 1st round as well (Morris, Verlander, Porcello, Andrew Miller, etc). It’s a crap shoot really, and you also cannot afford to just sign FA’s for your pitching staff, or you’ll have a payroll north of the Dodgers! The Tigers haven’t had anymore 1st round busts for pitchers as any other organization. We just know ours very well, and they were TERRIBLE! Lol, here’s to Mize and Manning getting better soon to atleast get some experience this year so we can compete next year. And also was happy in what I saw from Beau Briske. Thoughts???
For Love of the Game
Brieske looked quite good especially considering he was in A ball a year ago and was a 2019 27th rounder who’s only had 1.5 professional seasons.
Those terrible pitchers were from three different GMs. It’s a different group in there now. Can’t compare them yet.
Was Justin Thompson ‘awful’? He put together two really good seasons (as a 24 and 25 year old) before injuries decimated him.
I STAND WITH 48 TEAM MLB
The AL Central is trash. So much for my CHISOX prediction of going 21-4.
Feeling like Mize is on borrowed time…
Kwan’s a fun hitter to watch since he’s more of a throwback, high-contact, line-drive hitter. I think he’ll develop enough HR power once he settles in. The bat-to-ball skills aren’t Gwynn level, but they’re exceptional. Credit to Nestor Cortes, who K’d him twice. I still don’t know what he throws, and it seems neither do the hitters.
A complete revamp as a pitcher. He worked with Eric Cressey to improve his conditioning, and in the process picked up a couple miles on his fastball. A teammate in winter ball taught him how to grip a cutter, which Kluber helped him refine last season. Worked with Matt Blake to improve his slider, adding sweep and much more break. Improved his pitch sequencing with data from the Yankees analytics team. Got rid of Gary Sanchez as his catcher (ok, making that one up). Always had good command and belief he could pitch. Mix it all together, and a new pitcher emerges.
He’s no Marty Funkhouser