Spring coaching is a time for optimism. Sadly, spring coaching can also be a time for accidents, and the Cleveland Guardians have been hit with a double whammy of dangerous harm information involving two of their high prospects Monday.
Proper-hander Daniel Espino, the team’s No. 1 prospect, can be shut down at the least eight weeks with a shoulder pressure, according to The Athletic. He missed most of final season with knee and shoulder issues. Additionally, outfielder and 2022 first-round draft decide Chase DeLauter will miss 4-5 months after having surgical procedure to restore a fracture in his foot. He had the identical harm final yr.
As famous, Espino is Cleveland’s No. 1 prospect per our R.J. Anderson. Here is what he wrote about Espino final month:
The primary concern with Espino is his sturdiness. To wit, he would’ve ranked increased on the highest 20 had he not appeared in simply 4 video games this final season due to knee and shoulder accidents. When Espino is wholesome, he possesses a loud arsenal that features a sizzling fastball and two high-grade breaking balls. He will get his hand up early and generates spectacular torque (and velocity) due to his hip and shoulder separation. If Espino can keep more healthy in 2023, he is more likely to make his big-league debut late within the yr.
Evidently, the simply turned 22-year-old having extra shoulder bother is worrisome. Between accidents and the pandemic, Espino has thrown solely 133 profession innings since being the No. 24 decide within the 2019. He’s supremely gifted — gifted sufficient to be the highest pitching prospect in baseball — although ongoing issues about his sturdiness proceed to be based.
As for DeLauter, the No. 16 decide within the 2022 draft was restricted to 469 school plate appearances from 2020-22 by accidents and the pandemic, and now he’ll miss an enormous chunk of time this season. Baseball America recently ranked him Cleveland’s No. 9 prospect and stated he “will doubtless want a bit extra developmental time, however as much less of a completed product, there’s room for extra development and loads of upside.”
The Guardians went 92-70 and received the AL Central final yr, although they finally misplaced the ALDS in 5 video games to the Yankees. As a small-payroll staff — Sportrac estimates Cleveland’s payroll at $75.01 million, sixth-lowest in baseball — they want a gentle pipeline of younger expertise to stay aggressive. The Espino and DeLauter accidents are dangerous information for a company that depends on its farm system closely.