The Cleveland Guardians lineup took elite pitching, a contact-oriented offense, and excellent defense to another level in 2022.
Using that approach, they won their division, the AL Central, with an 11-game cushion and even eliminated the Tampa Bay Rays in the postseason.
Their loss to the New York Yankees in the Division Series evidenced that as good as their lineup is, it lacked some punch in the form of power.
Home runs are worth money, because they are easier paths towards getting a lot of wins.
The Guardians are a smart, well-run franchise, so they understood they needed to get a couple of power hitters.
The first one to sign was Josh Bell, and Mike Zunino came in a bit later than that.
Bell is already taking a few hacks at the Guardians’ spring training complex.
The first baseman was filmed taking live batting practice with his new teammates.
Josh Bell in the cage pic.twitter.com/DeAVjgkFWz
— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) February 14, 2023
Position players weren’t supposed to report until next week, but Bell wants to reach the start of the season in top shape and wants to get that swing in mid-season form.
He “only” hit 17 home runs in 2022 with the Washington Nationals and the San Diego Padres, but he is capable of much more.
For example, he had 27 in 2021 and 37 in 2019.
With a career .262/.351/.459 line and a .810 OPS, Bell has proved he can succeed even on lousy teams.
The Guardians, however, are expected to be contenders.
He needs to bring his A-game just to maintain his spot in the lineup everyday.
He is more than capable of being the type of hitter his team needs him to be, though.NEXT: Triston McKenzie Pays Tribute To A Trailblazing Guardians Legend