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AL Central Review and Preview: The Cleveland Guardians

Steven Kwan slides into home during a home game for the Cleveland Guardians.

The Guardians fell back to Earth behind a weak offense, and they might still struggle to score runs this year.

The Cleveland Guardians 2023 season concluded with a 76-86 record, fading down the stretch and falling short of postseason aspirations. Despite early-season promise, the team struggled with injuries and inconsistent performances.

Key players showed moments of brilliance, but the inability to maintain momentum left fans contemplating missed opportunities. The late-season slide raised questions about the team’s resilience and strategic adjustments. The Guardians, once in contention, faced challenges that ultimately defined their campaign. As the season closed, the organization and its dedicated supporters reflect on a season of highs and lows, seeking insights for future improvements and a more triumphant path in upcoming seasons.

In this in-depth review and preview piece, we will look back on the highs and lows of the 2023 Guardians season, while projecting the path forward for 2024 and beyond. Spoiler alert: things are looking rough in the future.

Month By Month

Spring Training and March

Cleveland did nothing of importance in Spring Training out west, going just 12-16 across 28 games of play. The Guardians then went on to start 1-1 in the month of March with two games against the Seattle Mariners.

April: Promising Start (12-14)

The Cleveland Guardians began 2023 with a hopeful 12-14 record in April. Key players like OF Steven Kwan showed potential, and the pitching staff maintained a respectable ERA. The month set a positive tone for the season, emphasizing adaptability.

May: Consistency Struggles (12-15)

In May, the Guardians faced challenges, ending with a 12-15 record. Injuries and lineup changes disrupted early momentum. Pitching and offense lacked consistency, prompting a reassessment of strategies and roles.

June: Resurgence (14-12)

June marked a resurgence for the Guardians, finishing 14-12. The team showcased resilience and improved performance. Central players like 3B Jose Ramirez stepped up, hinting at a competitive edge that could define the season.

Faltering Finish

July: Sustaining Momentum (14-12)

July saw the Guardians sustain momentum with a 14-12 record. A balanced and cohesive performance hinted at the team evolving into a formidable force. Reaching the playoffs became a tangible goal.

August: Contention Setback (11-16)

August proved challenging for the Guardians with an 11-16 record. Injuries and a dip in performance hindered playoff aspirations. The month highlighted the need for resilience in a competitive landscape.

September: Fading Hopes (12-15)

The season concluded in September with a 12-15 record, dimming hopes of postseason glory. The team faced vulnerabilities, revealing areas for improvement. Valuable lessons set the stage for strategic adjustments in the offseason.

In retrospect, the Guardians’ 2023 season was a rollercoaster, showcasing adaptability and glimpses of potential. Despite inconsistency hindering playoff dreams, moments of brilliance offer optimism for future seasons. The upcoming offseason provides an opportunity for recalibration and development to shape a more triumphant narrative in the future.


Cleveland faltered down the stretch in 2023 to lose out on a potential playoff berth with the AL Central division crown. Unfortunately for the Guardians, a slumping stretch came at the worst time, as the Minnesota Twins got red hot to pull away and end up winning the division in dominant fashion. The Guards simply did not play well enough when it mattered most. They even finished third in the division, as the Detroit Tigers passed them on the last weekend of the season.

I fully expect a rebuild in Cleveland, as years of spawning random talent out of nowhere seem to have finally caught up with the team. The days of contention are well behind the Guardians, who will not be in the mix for a long-awaited trophy for several years to come. They still have a good farm system, but it is not as promising as the previous few years. The fanbase can take solace though that Cleveland won the draft lottery and will pick first this coming July.

As the Tigers and the Kansas City Royals rise back to relevancy, expect Cleveland to fall off, hard.

Prediction: Cleveland Guardians (68-94) miss playoffs

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