Getting Ready for MLB 2022: Expectations and Updates for the Guardians

The 2022 MLB season is going to start before we know it, and predictions regarding the Indians are already a hot topic. As we have seen time and again, nothing can truly be predicted in advance when it comes to baseball, but the growing accuracy of intelligent analysis is nothing to scoff at either. After all, the new season is still a few months away and fans were not exactly left in high spirits at the end of MLB 2021. Does that mean there is hope for a much better season for the team in rumours, facts, and predictions?

Sadly, that depends on whether 2022 will see all 162 games played or not. Ever since the pandemic, things have continued to become increasingly dicey, making it difficult for even the organisers to predict what will happen and when. Nevertheless, fans, players, and organisers are hopeful that, to a great extent, things will indeed get back to the way they were supposed to be. With a bit of anxious hopefulness in mind, let’s find out about the facts and possibilities surrounding the Cleveland Guardians 2022 MLB Season., pub-2319592412860037, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

The Outfielder Trade

Everyone knew that the club was going to go hard for outfielders next season and predictions suggested that they might be gunning for Austin Wade Meadows (Tampa Bay Rays) to fill the gap. Whether that will happen or not remains dubious, but we now have confirmed news that the Guardians have signed Jaison Chourio.

Who is Jaison Chourio you may ask? Well, he is a 16-year-old Venezuelan free agent with enough prospect for the Guardians to have signed him up with a $1.2 million contract. Jaison Chourio currently holds rank 20 on MLB’s official, International Prospects list. If he is going to be a part of the final squad in 2022, Chourio will have to wait until the 19th May for his debut as that’s when he will turn 17.

Terry Francona in the Dugout?

Francona has had two very bad years in terms of personal health. From life-threatening gastrointestinal emergencies to a hip replacement surgery and an almost incurable foot infection which nearly got his foot amputated, 2020 and 2021 have been hell for the legendary coach’s personal health. Nevertheless, things are looking up as his health has improved quite significantly in the last few months. In an interview, he clearly expressed hopes of being in the dugout with his young Indians this coming season.

While some fans do not agree with some of Francona’s strict and pre-set systems, there is no denying the Hall-of-Famer’s 753 wins as the manager of Cleveland Guardians. He is currently the most successful manager in the club’s history, going past Lou Boudreau’s 728 wins during the 2021 season. Whether you agree with his tactics or not, it would certainly be good for the team to have their manager by their side for a change in the dugout.

The Cleveland Guardians Will Continue to Roll the Dice with Older Players

Bobby Bradley, Austin Hedges, and Badley Zimmer were the three most unlikely candidates to get another chance in 2022, but all three of them are on the roster. Considering Zimmer has struck out 100+ times even before getting to 300 at bat, one might consider him particularly lucky to retain his slot in 2022. The 29-year-old centre fielder had a 40.8% strikeout rate in 2021, which needs to change drastically in 2022.

Austin Hedges, on the other hand, ended with a batting average of .178 in 2021, indicating that the catcher managed to connect with about 17.8% of his pitches at bat. Bobby Bradley did marginally better on the batting average (.208/20.8%), but his 40.4% strikeout rate is only second to that of Bradley Zimmer unfortunately.

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New Hitting Coach Looking to Make Miracles Happen

Chris Valaika has joined the Guardians as their newest hitting coach and fans are looking at him to make miracles happen. Given the condition that the Cleveland Guardian’s hitters are in at this time, it would take something special for Valaika to succeed. The fact that this is the first time that he is stepping up from assistant-hitting coach to hitting coach is not a fact that inspires too much confidence in fans either.

So, what is it about Chris Valaika that makes the management believe he is the right man for the job? For those in the know, the answer might not come as a surprise. Valaika has a strong reputation for turning things around for aging hitters who are nearing the end of their career without success.

Given that it is one of the main problems that Cleveland’s aging roster is facing right now, Valaika might indeed be the right man for the job. There is a high probability that several of the older players on the Guardians’ roster will not be seeing their 2023 season Cleveland, unless Valaika can do something to turn around their dismal performances.

More rumours and solid facts will be coming our way in just about a few weeks’ time. When they do come in, you will be among the first Cleveland Guardians fans to know about them right here. At any rate, MLB 2022 will either see the Cleveland Guardians turn things around, or there might be a lot more changes incoming for the Indians than just a name change in 2023.

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