Espino begins throwing after knee, shoulder pain

June 26th, 2022

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Daniel Espino resumes throwing after knee, shoulder discomfort (June 26)
The Guardians' top prospect landed on Double-A Akron's injured list on May 3 with knee discomfort. While he was out, he started experiencing right shoulder pain, as well. But as worrisome as that can sound, Espino seems to be on a path to recovery.

Guardians assistant general manager James Harris said that Espino has started to throw again, though the organization is being cautious with putting any timetable on his return.

"We're not going to rush him back," Harris said. "It's not like we have a need in that category in Double-A, so we'd rather him be healthy and return to form. And when he returns to form, he's special, so we'd rather take our time." --Mandy Bell

George Valera stays hot, continues multihit trend (June 24)
The Guardians’ No. 2 prospect has been hot as of late, with back-to-back multihit games. Valera continued that trend, going 2-for-4 with one homer in Double-A Akron’s 3-1 win over Harrisburg.

The 21-year-old continues to be productive at the plate, hitting a single to right field in the first inning. Valera showed his power four innings later, crushing a long ball to center field.

The outfielder’s recent stretch has brought his slash line to .298/.404/.533 on the season. -- Edwin Perez

Allen punches out 11 in second straight start (June 23)
Logan Allen continues to dominate.

After reaching a career-high 11 strikeouts in his previous start, the Guardians' No. 8 prospect matched that record in Double-A Akron's 8-2 victory over Harrisburg. Allen threw 96 pitches, 68 strikes, and only allowed one run on a homer in the second inning. 

The 23-year-old added on to his impressive month of June, totaling 39 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings and posting a 1.75 ERA. 

Allen lowered his season ERA to 3.33 and brought his season strikeout total to 104. -- Alyssa Gomez

Logan Allen deals, sets career high in K’s (June 16)
It was a career game for Logan Allen.

The Guardians’ No. 8 prospect has been fanning hitters in the month of June, a total of 17 strikeouts in his last two starts. The 23-year-old topped those performances with a career high 11 strikeouts while allowing no runs on two hits across six innings in Double-A Akron’s 1-0 win over Hartford.

Allen was dealing throughout the game, striking out five of six batters in the fourth and fifth inning. The lefty's lone blemishes were two infield hits to third base in the second and third inning.

The 2020 second-round pick's outing has lowered his ERA to 3.55 and brought his strikeout tally to 93 in the 60 innings he has pitched this season. -- Edwin Perez

Freeman ropes pair of doubles, drives in three runs (June 14)
Tyler Freeman laced a pair of doubles, drove in three runs and stole a base in Triple-A Columbus' 8-7 loss to St. Paul at Huntington Park.

The fifth-ranked Guardians prospect led off the third inning with a two-bagger into center. After an out was recorded, he took off and successfully swiped third for his third stolen base of the year. After a walk by Bobby Bradley, Freeman trotted home on a balk. In the fourth, the 23-year-old cleared the bases with a double to right that broke a 4-4 tie.

MLB.com's No. 76 overall prospect has 10 extra-base hits, 25 RBIs and 24 runs scored over 36 games this season. -- Rob Terranova

No. 6 prospect Jones returns to lineup (June 8)
This was not the way Nolan Jones envisioned his 2022 campaign. After enduring left ankle surgery at the end of last season, he returned to big league Spring Training in March hoping to show that he could be an option for the team at some point this season. Instead, he dealt with back issues that lingered through the first two months of the regular season. Jones was finally activated off the injured list on Tuesday and played in his first game with Triple-A Columbus. Guardians manager Terry Francona said that the plan will be to get Jones -- a third baseman -- time in the outfield, considering the big league team will have José Ramírez at the hot corner for the foreseeable future. -- Mandy Bell

No. 10 prospect posts first two-homer game (June 5)
Angel Martinez’s first three-hit effort of the season was also a milestone game.

The No. 10 prospect posted his first career multihomer game in High-A Lake County’s 9-2 win over West Michigan. Martinez had only hit one long ball in his first 33 games this season, but he exploded for two solo dingers in the victory, both to right field and both off of righties. The 20-year-old switch hitter added a double and a run-scoring fielder’s choice to his day, and he’s now batting .279/.389/.459 with seven steals, 12 extra-base hits, 14 RBIs and 18 walks in 34 games. -- Stephanie Sheehan

Valera blasts eighth homer of 2022 (June 3)
George Valera
has picked up right where he left off after a blazing May, pushing his on-base streak to 14 games in a doubleheader against the Flying Squirrels.

MLB Pipeline's No. 42 overall prospect was a force in Double-A Akron's 6-2 win in Game 1 of the doubleheader against Richmond.

The 21-year-old launched a three-run homer to center field in the third inning to get the scoring started for the RubberDucks.

Although it was his only hit in Game 1, the right fielder was 1-for-2 with a walk and three RBIs.

The Queens native gave all the run support that Cleveland's No. 8 prospect Logan Allen needed in his 6 2/3-inning gem, where he allowed just one run on two hits and a walk while striking out eight.

Valera was able to rack up two hits in Game 2 of the doubleheader but didn't have the same success driving in runs, going 2-for-4 with a single in the first and the third but no RBIs along with one run scored in Akron's 6-4 loss to the Flying Squirrels. -- Ethan Sands

Valera powers Akron to victory (May 26)
George Valera
will not be happy to see May come to a close. Baseball's No. 43 overall prospect slugged a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning and drove in three runs to rally Double-A Akron past visiting New Hampshire, 4-2. The tater was Valera's fifth in his last seven games and seventh overall.

The 21-year-old had previously singled home a run earlier in the game and his three RBIs gave him nine in his previous three contests. After batting .226 with a .772 OPS in April, Valera has gotten hot this month. The Queens, N.Y., native is batting .309/.385/.556 with 20 RBIs in 20 games in May to improve his overall numbers to .273/.385/.483 with 15 extra-base hits and 27 RBIs in 39 contests for the RubberDucks. -- Michael Avallone

Valera notches sixth homer of the season (May 24)
George Valera went yard again.

MLB Pipeline's No. 43 overall prospect took another ball deep to continue his powerful second month of the season.

In Double-A Akron's 9-2 win over New Hampshire, the 21-year-old went 2-for-5 with four RBIs and three runs scored.

Valera began the scoring with a first-inning double to right field to give the RubberDucks the lead for good. The knock extended his hit streak to seven games and his on-base streak to eight. In the fifth, the right fielder belted a three-run homer to the right-field bleachers. The blast was the left-handed batter's fourth in May, all coming in the last five contests. That tripled the amount he had entering the month, giving him six on the season. -- Ethan Sands

Valera belts two homers, plates five runs (May 19)
50 pesos and a dream.

George Valera grew up 10 blocks from Yankees Stadium. At age 13, the native of Queens, N.Y., wound up moving to the Dominican Republic. It ended up being key to his dream of playing professional baseball.

Now, the 21-year-old is ascending the Guardians' system and MLB Pipeline's rankings as the No. 43 overall prospect in the game. And nights like his two-homer, five-RBI effort for the Double-A RubberDucks will only add to the growing legend.

Valera went 3-for-4 in Akron's 12-1 victory over Binghamton. In the first inning, he delivered a solo shot to deep center field. Then as part of a seven-run fifth, Valera crushed a grand slam to right-center. He doubled his home run total while amassing a season-high five RBIs.

In the Dominican Republic, he was denied the opportunity to play on multiple teams because of his stature. As a smaller athlete, coaches overlooked him left and right until his father gave a coach 50 pesos (approximately $2.50) to throw a few pitches to give his son a chance to display his talent and potential.

"The guy threw me a couple balls and BP and I was a little upset, so I just started hitting a couple of homers in the BP, and then [the coach] was like, you can come practice today if you get changed," Valera said. Full story »