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What Is Going on With Gavin Williams?

The Cleveland Guardians are currently one of the best teams in baseball, thanks to an onslaught of hitting and strong support from their bullpen. However, there remains a significant hole in an otherwise top-tier roster: starting pitching depth. Known for their ability to develop pitchers, the Guardians have been struggling in this area due to the season-ending injury to ace Shane Bieber and the prolonged absence of up-and-coming Gavin Williams. But what exactly is going on with Gavin Williams? Although the Guardians undoubtedly need another starting pitcher regardless of Williams’ return, many expected him to be back on the mound by June. With July just days away, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Gavin Williams injured his right elbow, his throwing arm, during spring training in March, while doing a weighted ball workout. This injury has sidelined him until now. Initially, many thought Williams would return quicker; he was almost scheduled for a rehab start in April, but that was canceled due to lingering soreness. Williams has since made multiple rehab starts in the Guardians’ minor league system, the latest being on Friday, June 21st, for the Akron RubberDucks, where he pitched five innings, gave up four hits, and recorded four strikeouts. Notably, he was throwing at speeds up to 98 mph, which is a positive sign. Williams was also scheduled to pitch on Wednesday, June 27th, for the Columbus Clippers, but that game was unfortunately rained out.

In his first three starts in the minor league system this year, Williams did not look like himself. During the 2023 MLB season, he had an ERA of 3.29 in 82 innings. However, in his first three rehab starts in the minors this year, he posted a 7.88 ERA through eight innings. Williams has since slowly improved and now has a 5.5 ERA through 13 innings pitched in the minors. He looks to officially turn the corner and return to his old form after his next start.

The Cleveland Guardians desperately need Gavin Williams back on the mound. Starting pitchers such as “Cookie” Carlos Carrasco and the young Logan Allen have struggled mightily this year. Carrasco currently has an ERA of 5.27 and a win-loss record of 3-6. Logan Allen has an ERA of 5.72, with a rather surprising win-loss record of 8-3. Given these struggles, it is no surprise that the Guardians could use Williams to bolster their starting pitching rotation as they look to build on their top-five record in all of MLB.

I expect to see Gavin Williams back on the mound as early as next week if his next start in Columbus goes well. While it is unfortunate that Williams’ rehab has taken longer than many fans and media members expected, the Guardians remain one of the best teams in baseball, despite their lack of depth in starting pitching. I am happy that the Guardians have managed to maintain their performance without Williams, as it has given the team the necessary time to fully rehabilitate him. This way, he can make an immediate impact upon his return, which seems to be very, very soon.


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