February 6, 2023

Franmere Reyes

cleveland guards A series of roster changes were announced on their Twitter account on Saturday, most notably designated outfielder Fran Mill Reyes assigned and released first baseman Bobby Bradley. The Guardians also switched right-handed pitchers, selected Hunter Gaddis to Triple-A Columbus, and purchased Jack Jewell’s contract.

Reyes, 27, entered the season as Cleveland’s clean-up hitter with a record for above-average offensive efficiency. He hit 92 home runs of .260/.325/.503 (121 OPS+) in 400-plus games prior to the season.

However, Reyes has been unable to play this season. He was drafted into the minors Tuesday after hitting just 9 home runs in 70 games at .213/.254/.350 (72 OPS+). Reyes’ strikeout rate and walk rate have both taken a step in the wrong direction, and he’s become more prone to popping. He’s still hitting the ball hard — he’s in the 93rd percentile for average speed — but it’s not enough to overcome the aforementioned development.

Presumably, the Guardian sees Reyes, who made more than $4.5 million this season, as a non-bidding candidate. They will now have a week for him to get a waiver or release him.

Bradley, 26, was a touted rookie thanks to his raw power. Unfortunately, the way he easily strikes out has never given him a foothold in the majors. In 97 major league games, he has an OPS+ of 86 and strikes out over 37 percent of his outs.

Since relegating Reyes, the Guards have used four different players in DH, including Josh Naylor and Irving Miller, or two parts of their first-base row. Cleveland’s promotion of infield rookie Tyler Freeman to the majors on Wednesday suggests they could consider a rotation, Freeman and other infielders — Aymed Rosario, Jose Ramirez and Andres Jimenez – Rotate DH to get them all batting and resting.

The Guardians entered Sunday with a 55-52 record for the season, bringing them back two games in the American League Central and AL wild-card competition.

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