Monday, June 17, 2024

Fry'd and True


The Guardians are the anti-Mariners. Their starting pitching isn't the greatest and you see a lot of high ERAs out there, but even if you can get hits off them, the Guardians can get hits off of you in so many creative ways. You already have a guy hitting .386, and another guy with 62 RBIs, but what if I told you there was a superutility-catcher with a .300 average as well? 

David Fry, undeniably one of the breakout stars of this Guardians team, has been a surprise success, and one of the most heralded utility men in the game. So far Fry has played games in the outfield, at third, at first, and behind the plate, and he's above average at all of them except for first. His catching skills have been very useful, considering that the other two catching options, Bo Naylor and Austin Hedges, can't hit. But the idea is also that he can start somewhere and slide in somewhere else, meaning Naylor can keep getting reps without being hung out to dry. 

And in addition to Fry's versatility, he's hitting really well right now. He's got a .317 average with 8 homers and 30 RBIs. For a utilityman, that's pretty damned good. Wherever they put him, it ensures another great hitter alongside Ramirez, Naylor, Kwan and Gimenez, and just from those five guys you see so many different kinds of hitters. Kwan and Fry are two very different kinds of contact bats, Naylor and Ramirez are different types of power hitters, Fry and Gimenez are different types of multi-tool guys. And they all work. Yes, it'd be nice if some of the prospects started hitting, as I think Johnathan Rodriguez, Kyle Manzardo and, well, Bo Naylor, were supposed to be more potent than they are right now. But the heart of the lineup works, and Jose Ramirez [who evidently had a very nice father's day] is pulling his weight at the center of the lineup.

And even if the rotation's not as good as last year, the bullpen's been fabulous. You have all these newer guys like Tim Herrin, Cade Smith and Hunter Gaddis, who no one can hit. You have Emmanuel Clase still holding court as one of the best closers in the bigs. And you have Hentges, Sandlin and even Scott Barlow staying consistent for this team. They may be without James Karinchak, Trevor Stephan and Eli Morgan, but the bullpen's still pretty strong, and is keeping the rotation woes from killing the team.

The Guardians are not just good, they're interesting. So many fun stories coming from this team. Fry's just one of them. If they keep this up they'll be bringing a really intriguing team to the postseason, and who knows what'll happen then.

Coming Tonight: A former MVP who's made up a ton of ground since his recent down years.

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