With a week left of the Triple-A Columbus Clippers’ season, the Cleveland Guardians are wasting no time plucking their roster clean. Today it was announced that outfielder Will Brennan was added to the 40-man roster and promoted, and Gabriel Arias was recalled to the majors.
In subsequent moves, Cleveland also optioned Richie Palacios back to Triple-A and designated Ernie Clement for assignment to make room for Brennan on the 40-man roster. Presumably, Clement’s infield utility role will be filled by Arias, while Brennan gets the very few at-bats that Palacios was getting down the stretch.
This isn’t Arias’ first rodeo, but it might as well. The 22-year-old was previously called to the majors to play in a doubleheader in April and had a very brief stint in early July, but he’s been in Triple-A since, with a broken hand sidelining him in between. He’s young and it showed in his brief cup of coffee, but there is plenty to like about a defensive wizard with the potential for some power. In 319 Triple-A plate appearances this year he hit 13 home runs and slashed .239/.310/.408.
This will be 24-year-old Will Brennan’s major-league debut after bursting onto the scene in 2022, first with the Double-A Akron RubberDucks and then with some excellent play since being promoted to Triple-A in late May. Brennan, who mostly played at center field but has experience everywhere in the outfield, slashed .317/.369/.474 with nine home runs in Columbus. He is slated to start tonight in right field and seventh in the Guardians’ lineup.
To say that Brennan’s 2022 season was a surprise would be an understatement. He was absent from FanGraphs’ pre-season list entirely, and he wasn’t in the Covering the Corner top-20 list. MLB Pipeline, which revised its list mid-season, has Brennan listed as the Guardians’ No. 20 prospect.
Brennan fits the mold of the current Guardians roster to a T — he’s all contact, speed, and smart base-running. His 20 stolen bases in 2022 were a career-high and he was only caught stealing in three of his attempts.
Being that Arias was on the 40-man roster ahead of the Sept. 1 deadline, he is already playoff eligible, should the Guardians decide to keep him in the majors into October.
Brennan, on the other hand, was recently added and would need some finagling to make work. If the Guardians really decide that they cannot be in the postseason without him, it wouldn’t be too hard to make it work — all they need to do is add someone else to the 60-day injured list and it would allow them to use him. Zach Plesac hasn’t pitched since Aug. 27 with a hand injury. Sure would be a shame if he had to be put on the 60-day injured list, wouldn’t it?
If you don’t want to miss Brennan’s debut, first pitch between the White Sox and Guardians is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET.