Xzavion Curry has been the savior of the Guardians’ bullpen, even when that wasn’t his original role for the season. 


The 24-year-old is in just his second season in the Majors. In 2022, he was called up in August and September to make two spot starts, but neither panned out in his favor. Curry allowed six earned runs over 9 1/3 innings for Cleveland last year. 


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But Curry’s productivity has completely shifted in his new role out of the ‘pen. 


The right-hander was competing for a roster spot in Spring Training, which would’ve had him coming out of the bullpen. But Curry lost the job to Hunter Gaddis and was optioned to Triple-A Columbus to get more reps and be stretched out as a starter. 


Although it didn’t take long before Curry was recalled as the news broke about Triston McKenzie straining his teres major muscle in his final spring start, Gaddis was quickly added to the rotation, and Curry called up to fill his bullpen spot. 


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“I’m learning that I can be a versatile type of pitcher,” Curry told MLB.com. “The bullpen role is not something that I’m scared of. It’s just more of embracing the role and going out there and helping the team whenever my number is called.”


Over his Minor League career, Curry pitched in 44 games, starting in all but four of those games. Over his Major League career, he’s pitched in seven games, with all five this year coming out of the bullpen. 


The 6-foot, 195-pounder has thrown 15 1/3 innings this season, and only one appearance has been for an inning or less. Curry has been stretched multiple times to preserve the bullpen and rescue starters from their disastrous outings. 


In his first appearance of the year in Oakland, Curry consumed five innings, allowing just two runs on three hits and picking up three strikeouts after Zach Plesac was knocked out after one inning (plus a few batters) in what became a 10-inning victory. Against the powerhouse Yankees, Curry got through four innings, allowing three runs on four hits and a walk while fanning three batters. Being able to mow down one of the most dangerous lineups in the league is uplifting for a player in his second year in the bigs, not to mention playing an almost brand-new part.






“It’s really encouraging to be able to go through that lineup and get some bad swings, get some soft contact, get some strikeouts,” Curry said. “It really does boost the confidence to be able to go through that good of a lineup and hold my own.”


In Curry’s appearances this year that have been three innings or less, he’s allowed zero runs and just two hits. Even in a reliever role, he’s proving his ability to get through innings and handle a heavy workload while handling a new task when his team needs it. All signs point to Curry becoming a promising starter in his future.


“I feel like I’ve just been able to come in here and eat up some innings,” Curry said. “You know, save some of those guys’ arms in the bullpen for their specific roles and just be able to help the team get through the game.”

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