The Guardians have informed reporters, including Zack Meisel of The Athletic, that right-hander Cal Quantrill has landed back on the 15-day injured list due to right shoulder inflammation. Right-hander Cody Morris was recalled to take his roster spot.
It’s been a challenging year for Quantrill, who posted a 5.61 ERA through the end of May and then landed on the IL due to shoulder inflammation. He returned a week ago and made two more starts but was shelled for 11 earned runs over 7 2/3 innings in those, raising his season ERA to 6.45 and now landing back on the IL due to the same shoulder ailment.
He’s proven himself quite capable of being a solid starter when healthy, as he tossed 336 innings over 2021 and 2022 with a 3.16 ERA. He only struck out 18% of batters faced in that time but kept his walks to a 6.8% clip and got grounders on 42.6% of balls in play.
There’s been a few twists in the Cleveland rotation this year, with Quantrill’s struggles as well as those of Zach Plesac, who has been outrighted off the roster. Triston McKenzie has also been injured for most of the season. That’s forced them to turn to prospects like Tanner Bibee, Gavin Williams and Logan Allen as the season has gone along, slotting those youngsters next to Shane Bieber and Aaron Civale. The club’s starters as a whole have a 4.35 ERA that’s 15th in the league but enough to keep them afloat in a weak division. Their 42-44 record puts them just two games back of the Twins in the American League Central. When Quantrill came off the IL last week, Allen was optioned to the minors and could perhaps be recalled to retake his rotation spot after the upcoming All-Star break.
The club’s status over the next few weeks will make them an interesting player as the August 1 deadline approaches. They have frequently traded players, especially pitchers, as they get into their arbitration years and become more expensive. Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer and Mike Clevinger have all been traded in recent years and replaced by younger and cheaper hurlers from within. With the emergence of Williams, Bibee and Allen, it’s been speculated that the club could look to move someone like Bieber or Civale for more offense at this year’s deadline. Though the Guardians are still in contention, so few clubs are clear sellers this year that swaps between contenders might become a common theme.
The Guards will have a few weeks to assess Quantrill’s health, but it may have an impact on their willingness to move someone from their rotation in such a deal. Earlier today, MLBTR published a list of the top 50 deadline trade candidates and listed Bieber and Civale in the #8 and the #20 spots, respectively, though that was before the news of Quantrill’s return to the IL.