February 27, 2024

The Cleveland Guardians find themselves 31-35 and 2nd place in the AL Central, 2.5 games back from the 1st place Twins. This Guardians team has determined that they are in need of a fresh bat in the lineup.

As it turns out, this bat is readily available to them inside the organization.

Catcher Bo Naylor, brother of current Guardian 1B/DH Josh Naylor, is raking in Columbus for the Guardians Triple-A affiliate and should be called up as soon as possible. The 23-year-old is batting .256/.393/.507 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI and is a leader for the Clippers in Columbus. Naylor has already spent some time in the big leagues in 2023, stepping up to the plate twice in a game against the New York Mets on May 21.

It’s time for a longer run in the major leagues.

Current Guardians catcher Mike Zunino is having a rough season thus far, hitting .182/.277/.314, with three home runs and 11 RBI. Zunino also strikes out 43.8% of his AB, which is the worst in baseball. For all catchers in Cleveland, the numbers are a bit more dire. All catchers in Cleveland account for a combined .154/.231/.241 slash line. All of those stats being the bottom line for the major leagues and it’s simply not good enough.

There may be a few reasons as to why Cleveland baseball fans have yet to see Bo Naylor for an extended period of time, with Guardians assistant GM James Harris releasing a statement (via The Athletic) on why Naylor has remained in Triple-A. Harris noted that Naylor has done incredibly well against left handed pitchers, but they are working on his receiving and throwing. Harris also mentions that it’s important for major league catchers to be able to lead in the clubhouse and in pitcher/catcher meetings.

Some have claimed that the real reason we are yet to see Naylor in Cleveland is due to the Super Two Rule, which states that players with 2+ years of service time are given an extra year of eligibility for arbitration (a system in which a third party outside of the baseball club and player determine the best salary for the player if a contract agreement is not reached by the deadline). Therefore, a player with 2+ years of service time would likely get more money than if they had less than two years of service time. However, it’s very hard to indicate exactly when the cutoff is and if the Guardians and Naylor have reached it.

Overall, there may be a plethora of behind-the-scenes reasons as to why Bo Naylor is yet to step foot in Cleveland for a longer period of time than he has in the past (money-wise or not), but it’s not hard to imagine it coming before the end of the season.

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