Inbox: Will Arias get to play every day?
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- It’s been too long since we’ve opened the Guardians Inbox. Now that Cactus League games have been underway for a week, let’s take a look at questions fans have:
What are the paths/likelihood for Gabriel Arias playing every day?
It’s hard to envision the end of this path right now. The Guardians have everyday infielders at each position, all of whom rarely take a day off. There’s a reason the team is having both Arias and Tyler Freeman see time in the outfield this spring to try to find a way for them to get more playing time with such a crowded infield.
An everyday role isn’t in the immediate future for Arias, unless an injury to one of the starters pops up. Determining what his role could look like in the distant future will depend on what the Guardians do with Amed Rosario. If they extend his contract, the middle-infield depth the team has in its farm system doesn’t make as much sense to hold on to. José Ramírez will remain at third. Rosario would stay at short if he’s extended. Andrés Giménez would be stuck at second. That leaves no room for Arias to have an everyday role, unless he finds a home in the outfield.
The short answer: So much depends on Rosario’s future.
For now, Arias will serve as a utility guy, proving he deserves to be the next man up should an opportunity arise.
What will they do with all the extra infielders? Freeman and Arias to just sit around?
This is what we alluded to in the first answer. There are Arias and Freeman, who are Major League ready. There are Angel Martinez, Juan Brito, Brayan Rocchio and Jose Tena all on the 40-man roster. It’s getting hard to figure out where they all will play now and in the future. For Freeman and Arias, the Guardians will need to determine if they want to carry two extra infielders and one extra outfielder on the Opening Day roster or two outfielders and just one infielder. Trying to find playing time for both Arias and Freeman could be difficult, and Cleveland may want Freeman to play every day in Triple-A. All of that needs to be worked out over the next few weeks.
Chances we see a pitching prospect break camp as a starter?
The smallest chance possible. The Guardians seem locked in on keeping the usual Shane Bieber, Triston McKenzie, Cal Quantrill, Aaron Civale, Zach Plesac rotation to start the year.
First starter you expect to get used if Civale or Plesac struggle?
This is the bigger question to answer in camp. Cleveland will get looks at guys like Konnor Pilkington, Xzavion Curry, Hunter Gaddis, Joey Cantillo and Logan Allen all spring. Cody Morris would have been a top choice heading into camp, but now he’s dealing with shoulder/back soreness that knocks him lower on the list. One of these names will try to separate themselves this spring to be the next man up.
How is Morris doing and is there any ETA?
No ETA yet, but he’s throwing out to 105 feet and seems to be progressing well.
Why hasn’t Clase pitched yet?
The Guardians didn’t feel the need to rush Emmanuel Clase into games. Here was manager Terry Francona’s explanation:
“Clase hasn’t pitched yet, but he’s slated to pitch in nine games. That includes a back to back. That was our goal for him. [Pitching coach] Carl [Willis] maps out the entire spring for everybody -- at least the guys we can. They’re not trying to get out of work. They’re trying to get ready for a season. As you get to know them, you can partner with them, and it works really well.”
Barring an injury or trade, who is the current top candidate to back up Mike Zunino?
Right now, it seems like Cam Gallagher is, although David Fry is really interesting. We’ll stick with Gallagher at this point, though.
With no shift, do you think Tito will elect to play a shallow RF and have CF and LF shift to right-center and left-center?
I’ll let him answer for himself:
“I don’t think so. I mean, one of our baseball ops guys asked me that. He was like, ‘Have you thought about that?’ And I was like, ‘Do you want to see [Steven] Kwan in short right?’ And he said, ‘Not really.’ I said, ‘How about Oscar [Gonzalez]? Do you want to move Straw out of center?’ And he said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘You just answered the question.'"