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2022 Guardians roster with only a handful of new additions – Morning Journal

The Guardians’ roster for Opening Day 2022 is set and, with a few differences, it will look a lot like the one that opened the 2021 season with a 3-2 loss at Detroit in their last opener with the Indians. .

Shane Bieber will make his third straight opener when the Guardians visit the Kansas City Royals at 4:10 p.m. on April 7.

Bieber, the 2019 All-Star Game MVP and 2020 Cy Young Award winner when he finished 8-1 with a 1.63 ERA, missed more than three months in 2021 with a back injury. shoulder. He finished 7-4 last season.

The rest of the starting rotation for Kansas City’s four-game series is also familiar. Zach Plesac will start the second game of the season on April 9 followed by Cal Quantrill and Aaron Civale.

Beginners at the start of the season should throw no more than about 65 pitches. Triston McKenzie will join the starting rotation when the games start to pile up, but the first time in the rotation should end the game for Bieber, Plesac, Quantrill or Civale.

The rosters were expanded from May 26-28 through May 1 due to shortened spring training caused by the Major League Baseball-imposed lockdown. Guardians manager Terry Francona decided to go with 14 pitchers and 14 position players.

One of the new faces on the Guardians’ roster is left-handed pitcher Konnor Pilkington, who was acquired from the White Sox last summer in a trade that sent second baseman Cesar Hernandez to Chicago. Pilkington is normally a starter, but he’ll work out of the bullpen early in the season to resume innings when either starter hits his 65-pitch limit.

The bullpen will be made up of many of the same players from last season – Anthony Gose, Sam Hentges, Eli Morgan, Nick Sandlin, Trevor Stephan, Bryan Shaw, Logan Allen and closer Emmanuel Clase. Allen and Morgan could also throw multiple innings when the starters come out in early April games.

Reliever James Karinchak will start the season on the injured list with a round muscle sprain in his right shoulder.

Outfielder/first baseman Josh Naylor will also start the season on the 10-day injured list. Naylor is still recovering from leg and ankle surgery performed last July after colliding with second baseman Ernie Clement. Francona wants Naylor to play Triple-A Columbus before joining the Guardians.

Naylor’s continued rehab opened the door for rookie outfielder Steven Kwan. Kwan, 24, was a fifth-round pick of the Indians in 2018. He hit .328 with 12 home runs and 44 RBIs with Double-A Akron and Columbus last season.

Myles Straw, Bradley Zimmer, Oscar Mercado and Franmil Reyes make up the rest of the outfield. Reyes will be the designated hitter more often than he plays in the outfield.

Zimmer and Mercado are out of options. Straw and Kwan are centre-backs first, so it will be interesting to see what Francona decides when Naylor is ready to join the Guardians and the rosters are reduced to 26 on May 2. Teams will be limited to 13 pitchers when rosters are reduced.

Only two catchers are on the list – Austin Hedges and Bryan Lavastida. Lavastida made it to the big league club because Luke Maile, the team’s only free agent, is on the injured list with a hamstring injury. Lavastida played 48 games with the High-A Lake County captains last season. He played seven games with the Clippers last summer.

The infield is filled with familiar faces, led by All-Star third baseman Jose Ramirez. Amed Rosario is back at shortstop. Rosario can also play left field. Rosario hit .282 with 11 home runs and 57 RBIs in 141 games last season.

Rounding out the infield are Ernie Clement, Yu Chang, Bobby Bradley, Andres Gimenez and Owen Miller.

Clement can play second or third base if Ramirez needs a rest. Chang can play shortstop or third, Gimenez can play short or second.