The Cleveland Guardians were one of the teams with a decision to make before last week’s trade deadline; pursue more talent for a potential playoff push or begin to plan for 2024? 


When the dust finally settled, it seems the Guardians chose the latter. First, they traded starting pitcher Aaron Civale to Tampa Bay for first-base prospect Kyle Manzardo. That move was followed by trading switch-hitting MLBbro Josh Bell (who was just acquired this offseason) to Miami for prospect Kahlil Watson. 


Xzavion Curry Promoted To Starting Rotation 


Both moves made by Cleveland will give some younger players an opportunity to play more, but for relief pitcher Xzavion Curry this will facilitate his transition into a completely different role. With Civale gone, Guardians manager Terry Francona plans to move Curry from the bullpen and into the starting rotation. 



“We’ve been bouncing him around so much and now that the deadline’s over, everything’s keep him in that spot,” said Francona. “Let him try to incrementally get stretched out and turn him loose”


Throughout his rookie season, Curry has appeared 25 times for the Guardians bullpen while making occasional spot starts. He is currently 3-1 with a 2.95 ERA and 1.16 WHIP over 64.0 IP with Cleveland.


Although his opportunities to start in the majors have come sparingly so far, he is no stranger to taking the mound to set the tone for his ball club. While at Georgia Tech, Curry recorded 40 career starts, three combined shutouts and one complete game shutout over 232.2 innings pitched.


In 38 appearances and 36 starts across the minors before being called up last August, he posted an impressive 16-5 record with a 2.90 ERA with 236 strikeouts in 198.2 innings.


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Curry’s four pitch arsenal has relied heavily on the four-seam fastball and slider with tremendous results, as hitters are batting just .227 against Curry’s most used pitches. Sunday’s start saw more of the same as Curry recorded 12 swing and misses, good for a 38.5 whiff percent on his big two. 



His start on Sunday against the Chicago White Sox gave Francona the opportunity to see a little more from his young right hander at this big league level.


“He’s a little more positioned, and if we’re going to do this, we don’t have to concern ourselves with, okay, let’s not pitch him too much because we might need him in relief in two days.”


Curry Had Another Solid Start 


Curry pitched well Sunday, giving up four hits and two earned runs over five innings pitched while striking out four. Unfortunately, run support never arrived and he would finish the game with a no-decision.


He didn’t factor into the final results but given the Guardians’ history of developing young arms we can expect to see plenty more of Curry in the future.

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