The Cleveland Guardians are working hard to improve certain areas of their roster.
The offense is the one that needs the most work, but that doesn’t mean the team should completely ignore adding to their pitching staff.
They did just that this week, announcing the signing of right-hander Ben Lively on an MLB contract.
— Cleveland Guardians (@CleGuardians) December 12, 2023
The team made the announcement via Twitter.
Lively had a rather disappointing 5.38 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP in 88.2 innings in 2023, with 79 strikeouts.
The long ball was a huge problem, as he allowed 20 in the 88.2 frames.
The Guardians, however, are banking on the player being able to maintain the level he showed in the first half.
Before the All-Star break, Lively posted a solid 3.83 ERA in 51.2 innings, with 50 strikeouts.
Things went south in a hurry, though, as he posted a 7.54 ERA in 37 frames after the break, with just 29 punchouts.
The Cincinnati Reds’ ballpark, however, can be punishing on pitchers, and the Guardians hope that a change of scenery and better coaching and player development resources can help Lively keep some consistency.
The acquisition of Lively could potentially spell the end of Shane Bieber’s fruitful stint with the Guardians.
There have been rumblings about a number of teams interested in the Guardians ace, who is about to enter his last season of arbitration eligibility.
There might be a trade brewing as we speak, although nothing is official as of Tuesday afternoon.
For now, Lively joins a staff that also has Bieber, Triston McKenzie, Tanner Bibee, Gavin Williams, Logan Allen, Xzavion Curry, Hunter Gaddis, and other talented hurlers.