The Cleveland Guardians are expected to promote catcher Bo Naylor to the majors ahead of Saturday's contest against the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to Jesús Cano of MLB.com. That news surfaces just a few hours after the Guardians designated veteran backstop Mike Zunino for assignment.
Naylor, 23, has appeared in six big-league games over the last two seasons. He's authored a fantastic season in Triple-A so far this year, hitting .253/.393/.498 with 13 home runs and nearly as many walks as strikeouts. Naylor is, of course, the younger brother of Guardians slugger Josh.
It's worth noting that the lefty-swinging Naylor has been particularly effective against righties this season. He's hit .271/.398/.510 against them, as opposed to .203/.370/.453 versus lefties. Naylor's average exit velocity is also much better against righties: 92.3 mph, contrasting his 87.1 mph mark versus lefties.
Zunino, 32, joined the Guardians over the offseason on a one-year deal worth $6 million. In 42 games, he batted .177/.271/.306 (63 OPS+) with three home runs and 11 runs batted in. Zunino, who has often struggled with strikeouts throughout his big-league career, fanned in 43.6% of his plate appearances. He's posted a 54 OPS+ over the last two years after an impressive 2021 campaign that saw him make his first (and so far only) All-Star Game.
The Guardians entered Friday with a 32-36 record on the season, putting them in second place in the AL Central. They trailed the Minnesota Twins by 2 ½ games.