Awaiting call to majors, Clippers’ Kyle Manzardo not taking any at-bat for granted

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Kyle Manzardo is well aware of how well he’s doing in his third full season playing minor league baseball.

“I’ve gotten into a bit of a groove the last few weeks. I got off to a pretty slow start,” Manzardo said. “But I was kinda able to rein it in and find my rhythm at the plate and just trying to build off of it.”

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The Clippers first baseman leads the team in home runs (7) and in batting average (.304). Much of that success has come in the past two weeks. In Columbus’ away series at Syracuse, Manzardo had six hits and five runs. Then in Tuesday night’s series opener against Toledo, he went 2-for-5 with two runs on two hits, including a solo homer.

And with his performance at the plate, Manzardo also knows that his time as a Clipper might be coming to an end as he awaits a call to the majors by the Cleveland Guardians. But he doesn’t let that thought linger too long in his mind.

“I try to stay away from it,” Manzardo said. “I don’t know. I just try to be grateful for the position I’m in right now and try not to take any day or any at-bat for granted right now.”

A second-round draft pick in 2021 by the Tampa Bay Rays, Manzardo was traded to the Guardians organization last season. Cleveland’s no. 2 prospect turned heads during spring training but the organization elected to start him in the minors this season.

That was good news for Clippers manager Andy Tracy, who enjoys having Manzardo on his roster even though he knows he’s on borrowed time with the Washington State product.

“It’s really interesting. Kyle is a really good player. Obviously, still growing across the board,” Manzardo said. “He comes to compete every day. He comes to prepare and enjoys the process. Just trying to get him in a spot where he can go help the big league club and win a world title.”

Manzardo has registered at least one hit and one run in eight of the last ten games, including Tuesday night’s 7-6 extra innings victory over the Mud Hens. While his performance at the plate has built his confidence, Manzardo hits the reset button with every at-bat.

“I try not to let whatever happened yesterday carry on over to today. Obviously, it’s easier said than done in baseball, but I’m kinda approaching it that way,” Manzardo said.

And while a move to Cleveland is a call away, Manzardo says he’s enjoying his time as a Clipper.

“I like Columbus a lot,” Manzardo said. “It’s a really special atmosphere.”

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