Guardians to promote catching prospect Bo Naylor after designating Mike Zunino for assignment, per report

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The Cleveland Guardians are expected to promote catcher Bonnelle to the majors ahead of Saturday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, According to MLB.com’s Jesús CanoThe news surfaced hours after the Guardians named veteran Mike Zunino to the assignment.

Naylor, 23, has played in six major league games over the past two seasons. So far this year, he’s had a fantastic season in Triple-A, hitting .253/.393/.498 with 13 home runs and nearly as many walks as strikeouts. Naylor, of course, is the younger brother of Guardians slugger Josh.

Notably, lefty Naylor has been particularly effective against righties this season. He hit .271/.398/.510 against them and .203/.370/.453 against lefties. Naylor also had a much better average exit velocity than righties: 92.3 mph, compared to his 87.1 mph mark versus lefties.

Zunino, 32, joined the Guardians on a one-year, $6 million contract in the offseason. In 42 games, he’s batting .177/.271/.306 (63 OPS+) with three home runs and 11 runs scored. Zunino has often struggled with strikeouts throughout his major league career, hitting 43.6 percent of his home runs. After an impressive 2021 campaign in which he posted 54 OPS+ over the past two years, he’s making his first (and so far only) All-Star break.

In addition to Naylor, the Guardians have two other players on their roster who have played this season: Cam Gallagher and David Fry, who came off the bench in 11 games.

The Guardians entered Friday with a 32-36 record on the season, second in the AL Central. They trail the Minnesota Twins by 2.5 games.



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