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Guardians an early surprise of 2024 MLB season | Jeff Schudel

Apr. 6—The Guardians were going hard without a day off since the regular season started March 28 until April 5, and the only reason they didn't play then was because it was scheduled as an off day for the Twins in case Minnesota's home opener April 4 (against the Guards) was rained out.

No one on the Guardans is complaining. They wrap up their longest trip of the season — 10 games — on April 7 against the Twins, and though it is way, way too early to draw any conclusions, the Guardians have been one of the early season surprises in Major League Baseball.

"I didn't see any dragging, which is awesome," manager Stephen Vogt told reporters covering the Guardians after they beat the Twins April 4. "They are dragging, I can tell you that, but they don't show it. It's a testament to our medical staff, to our strength and conditioning staff and all those guys keeping them fresh and keeping their bodies going.

"And it comes down to the players bringing the energy even when they don't feel 100 percent. They do that day in and day out."

The Guardians were 6-2 heading into games played April 6, a half-game behind the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central Division. They have scored 50 runs — good for fifth in all of baseball. They are 27th in home runs with five.

Shane Bieber pitched six innings in each of two starts without allowing a run. He would have pitched the home opener against the White Sox on April 8, but on April 6 the Guardians announced the devastating news that Bieber needs Tommy John surgery. He will miss the rest of the season.

Logan Allen pitched 6 2/3 shutout inning April 3 when the Guardians blanked the Mariners in Seattle, 8-0.

Tanner Bibee had control problems in his first start when he walked five batters, gave up three runs and lasted only four innings March 30 against the A's. The Guardians won, 12-3, but Bibee did not get credit for the victory. He bounced back with 5 1/3 shutout innings in the 4-2 victory over the Twins on April 4. He was charged with one run and, significantly, struck out nine without allowing a walk.

The bullpen has pitched well. Hunter Gaddis has appeared in four games and has yet to allow a run. He has pitched 3 2/3 innings and has struck out five batters without allowing a walk.

Gaddis started the only two games he pitched in in 2022. He appeared in 14 games last season and started seven of them.

The 2019 fifth-round draft pick from Georgia State University seems to have found his niche in the bullpen. His fastball has been his best pitch. The Guardians need another starter with Bieber done for the rest of 2024, but Gaddis will remain in the bullpen, President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti said April 6 on a Zoom call.

"Starting, you kind of save some energy," Gaddis told reporters in Minnesota. "Not completely, but going out there (as a reliever) and letting it go as much as I can is really cool.

"I'm just trying to go out there and do my best. So far it's been good results. I just want to keep it rolling."

The Guardians will finally play a home game April 8 when they face the White Sox. Allen will get the start in place of Bieber.