The Guardians announced they’ve recalled left fielder/second baseman Richie Palacios to make his major league debut. Cleveland also activated catcher Luke Maile from the 10-day injured list. In corresponding moves, backstop Bryan Lavastida was optioned to Triple-A Columbus, while left-hander Kirk McCarty was returned to the minors and removed from the 40-man roster.
Palacios was already on the 40-man, having been selected before Rule 5 protection day last November. A third-round pick out of Towson in 2018, the left-handed hitter has played his way up the minor league ladder with strong numbers at every stop. Palacios had a nice run in the low minors during his post-draft summer, but he missed the entire 2019 campaign after tearing the labrum in his shoulder. The canceled 2020 minors season cost him another year, but the Brooklyn native played his way onto the 40-man roster with an impressive showing last year.
Splitting the season between Double-A Akron and Columbus, Palacios hit .297/.404/.471 in 428 plate appearances. While he only hit seven home runs, he rapped 33 doubles and swiped 20 bases. As his excellent on-base percentage attests, Palacios drew walks in a robust 13.6% of his plate appearances against just a 16.4% strikeout rate. Baseball America named him the #14 prospect in a deep Guardians’ farm system this winter, praising his hit tool, plate discipline and gap power while noting some questions about his best defensive fit.
The Guardians signed Maile to a one-year deal over the winter to serve as the #2 backstop behind Austin Hedges. He missed the first few weeks of the year with a left hamstring strain, leading Cleveland to turn to the 23-year-old Lavastida for a brief first look. He collected just one hit and three walks in 15 plate appearances, but that was to be expected for a player with just 36 games above High-A coming into the year. Lavastida will have a chance to get more regular reps at Triple-A with Maile back to spell Hedges as needed.
McCarty, meanwhile, was selected to the majors as a COVID substitute last week. Cleveland was without Cal Quantrill, Owen Miller and Anthony Castro at the time, but Quantrill and Miller have since made it back. Tanner Tully, who had also been selected as a COVID replacement, was returned to Columbus over the weekend. Cleveland now has one open 40-man roster spot, but both Castro and Yu Chang remain on the COVID injured list and will have to be reinstated once healthy.
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
Rejoice Guardians, the Maile is in!
Let’s hope there is no “return to sender” in the near future.
It’s actually pronounced Mall-er
Mail-ee. Stupid autocorrect.
The Guardians seem to have a lot of solid, under the radar type of prospects who are close to MLB ready. This is a big reason that I think they could be better this season than most people thought they would be. Kwan may just be the beginning.
Definitely. They have a few more that are really close to MLB ready and I’m sure a lot of them will surface at some point this year.
Counting McCarty, Tully, and Palacios whenever he makes his debut, the Guardians have already had 7 players make their major league debuts this season alone. By the end of this season, I’d imagine we’ll see Freeman, Jones, and Cody Morris for sure since they’re each on the 40-man roster. And if they need a spot starter then Logan Allen, Cody Morris, Peyton Battenfield, Tobias Myers, Tanner Burns, and Xzavion Curry are close to ready. Nick Mikolajchak has torn up the minors out of the bullpen and he’ll probably be up at some point too.
It’s highly doubtful, coming off injuries, and with lots to prove and guys to displace, that we’ll be seeing either Nolan Jones or Tyler Freeman on the big club this year.
I disagree. I’d imagine that one if not both will likely be up at some point by the end of the year, once healthy. (even if it’s only temporary.)
For all the upside that some of their young players have, there isn’t anyone really blocking either of them that would be “displaced” by them coming up.
Problem is they’re all 2B/SS types at the top of their prospects list.
How can a guy be “recalled” if he’s making his MLB debut?
It’s possible that he was called up before but never played in a game.
It’s just how MLB terms these things. It does sound awkward.
While he has yet to appear in a MLB game, he was called up to the active roster when his contract was selected during the offseason. He was optioned to start the season, and now he has been recalled.
Palacios was drafted as a SS, and unfortunately for him his injuries came right before the pandemic and the Guardians developing like 8 different top prospect shortstops. I suspect if he got to develop at SS and didn’t get hurt, he would have been a major prospect given his hit tool, even if he might have eventually moved to 2B. He’s essentially a 2B/LF now, they didn’t have time for him at SS when Rocchio, Tena, Clement, Arias, Gimenez, Miller, and Freeman all needed time there.
Best thing about Luke Maile back in the majors ….his walk up music. Loves Zeppelin
Long live Chief Wahoo!!! Always the Indians!!
Get a real cause
Dumpster Divin Theo
Cool to see him get his first hit. And see Franmil Reyes fake throwing the baseball in the stands. Chit never gets old.
Speaking of Franmil Reyes, he gave us the one most stupid at bats Monday night against the Angels I have seen in my decades of watching Indians (Guardians) baseball. If you watched the game, you know what I’m talking about, If you missed it, you’re lucky. Why this rally-killer is still hitting in the cleanup spot in the Guards’ lineup is hard to understand.. Reyes is only interested in hitting a home run every two weeks so he can flex his muscles while running around the bases. As one of the teams’ TV announcers asked: What’s going on in his head.” Answer: Nothing.
Alas, good baseball teams don’t evaluate guys on one AB, no matter how bad that particular one was. I’ll agree that anyone who let him swing 3-0 in that situation should be fined along with Frranmil, but singling out Reyes for a poor start to the season is silly, since he’s had weeks like this in the middle of a season and it hardly causes a ripple. Instead of ripping him out of the clean-up spot when there’s no logical replacement, CLE should instead approach him about an extension and see if this slump has him interested in terms that make sense for both him and the franchise.
I was at the game last night and on the jumbo-tron when he was up it said:
“Believes he could be a model if he was not playing professional baseball.”
Thought that was pretty funny
You’ll be glad to know he’s in the 6-hole today.
I’m just here for the fans crying “INDIANS” while their moms fix their hot pockets
Yes, I enjoyed my Pepperoni Hot Pockets. My mom cooked it and microwaved it perfectly. Now where’s the problem with that? I’d say it’s way better than being a 48 year old so-called “LordTeaboBaggins” on the internet crying about baseball fans “crying” about a team name. Go cry that Portland, OR still doesn’t have a baseball team instead.
Joe It All
Luke Maile is the best position player to come out of Northern Kentucky since David Justice. Justice is from Cincinnati but went to high school over the River. Maile went to Covington Catholic and Justice attended Covington Latin. Would love to see Luke consistently put it together in the majors and become an asset for the Guardians.