TODAY: Arias is expected to return in 6-8 weeks, according to GuardsInsider’s latest update. Arias underwent surgery on his right hand today.
MAY 2: Guardians shortstop prospect Gabriel Arias fractured the fifth metacarpal on his right hand during yesterday’s Triple-A contest, tweets GuardsInsider. He is headed for further testing but will likely miss “several weeks” while recovering.
Arias, 22, entered the season at the back half of the Top 100 prospects lists of each of Baseball America, FanGraphs and Kiley McDaniel of ESPN. A polished defensive infielder with power potential, he spent most of the 2021 season at Triple-A Columbus. Over 483 plate appearances, Arias hit .284/.348/.454 with 13 home runs. That positioned him as a near-MLB option for the Guardians, who had already selected him onto their 40-man roster over the 2020-21 offseason.
To open the year, Cleveland optioned Arias back to Columbus. He’s gotten off to a rough start, hitting .197/.269/.380 with an alarming 32.1% strikeout rate in 78 plate appearances. Despite the lackluster early numbers, Arias got a cup of coffee at the big league level when the Guardians brought him up for a doubleheader against the White Sox on April 20. Cleveland optioned him back to Columbus the next day, but a longer-term promotion seemed imminent if Arias were to right the ship offensively in the minors.
Unfortunately, that’ll be put on hold for the time being. Because he suffered the injury in a minor league game, Arias is likely to land on the Triple-A injured list. However, depending upon the length of his recovery timeline and the Guardians’ 40-man roster needs, it doesn’t seem out of the question they could eventually recall him and place him on the MLB 60-day IL to clear space on the 40-man.