Guardians promote hard-hitting prospect due to absence of José Ramírez before series opener in Chicago

CHICAGO — A hard-hitting Guardians prospect joins the club ahead of Tuesday’s series opener against the White Sox, though he may not be the rookie many have anticipated for much of the season. Cleveland recalled infielder Brayan Rocchio for his second major league stint after a brief taste of the majors last month.

Rocchio’s Columbus teammate, highly touted catch prospect Bo Naylor, remains with the Clippers for the time being.

Cleveland placed All-Star third baseman José Ramírez on the Major League Baseball mourners list, necessitating the decision to elevate Rocchio.

Rocchio, 22, spent a day with Cleveland on an April 19 call to Detroit, but did not make his league debut then before being fired as an option to Triple-A Columbus. the day after. He was available on the Cleveland bench against the Tigers as a precaution along with Amed Rosario and Tyler Freeman, both injured at the time.

The switch-hitting center fielder hit .338 with a home run and 21 RBIs in 148 at bat for the Clippers while posting an .882 OPS.

When Rocchio arrived in Detroit, Guardians general manager Mike Chernoff said the club thought it would be a good opportunity for him to “get his feet wet” at the major league level while making it clear that the call was a short-term adjustment.

“Hopefully he can take advantage of it just to feel more comfortable so that next time, if it’s a longer term adjustment, he adjusts, he’s been through the first of everything,” Chernoff said.

Back in April, Chernoff said there was a lot to like about Rocchio, despite his relatively limited Triple-A experience.

“There’s still a lot of development he needs to work on, and we’re excited about that development,” Chernoff said. “He controls the strike zone very well. He’s gotten off to a good start offensively and defensively, but I think we’re really looking for him to build on the consistency that we need to see in the big leagues in terms of putting effort on every play and making those routine plays. . Everytime.”

Rocchio was the club’s top international signing as an undrafted free agent in July 2017 from Venezuela. He entered the season ranked as Cleveland’s fifth-best prospect by Baseball America (77th overall) and sixth-best by MLB Pipeline (75th).

Last season, Rocchio split time between Double-A Akron and Columbus where he finished second in the Guardians farm system in runs (83), third in hits (131), tied for fourth in doubles (27) and tied for sixth at home. short.

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