The Cleveland Guardians, particularly on the pitching side, were carried by rookies in 2023.
Tanner Bibee, Gavin Williams, Logan Allen, Xzavion Curry and other first-year players carried the staff this past season.
The team couldn’t make the postseason, but that had more to do with the offense’s inability to score consistently.
The pitchers did their job, and then some.
Bibee, in particular, had a brilliant year and showed that talented rookies can very well thrive at the highest level.
For his performance, he is being rewarded with a special nomination, according to Bally Sports Cleveland.
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) November 7, 2023
Bibee is part of a select group of three players who are finalists for the AL Rookie of the Year award.
The other two are batters: Baltimore Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson, and Boston Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas.
Henderson had a .814 OPS with 100 runs, 28 homers, and 82 RBI.
Casas finished with a .856 OPS, 24 homers, 66 runs, and 65 RBI.
Bibee, on the other hand, was by far the best rookie pitcher in the junior circuit with a 2.98 ERA in 142 innings.
He also posted a solid 1.18 WHIP and had 45 walks and 141 strikeouts.
He showed Guardians fans that regardless of Shane Bieber’s future with the franchise, they will have a quality ace leading the rotation.
In reality, the entire Guardians staff is in very good shape, with the four aforementioned rookies, Bieber, and talented righty Triston McKenzie all in the mix.
The offense has shown flashes, but outside of Jose Ramirez and Josh Naylor, consistency just hasn’t been there.
Give the Guardians a couple of impact bats and they can fight with the Minnesota Twins for the AL Central.