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Guardians To Select Hunter Gaddis

The Guardians will choose righty Hunter Gaddis to make his major league debut tomorrow, manager Terry Francona told reporters (including Ryan Lewis of the Akron Beacon-Journal). Kirk McCarthy has been optioned to Triple-A Columbus to clear an active roster spot, while the team will announce a corresponding 40-man roster move tomorrow.

Gaddis, 24, was Cleveland’s fifth-round pick out of Georgia State in 2019. The 6’6″ righty has posted incredible strikeout numbers virtually from the day he entered the professional ranks. He’s fanned 32.6% of opposing hitters throughout his minor league career, including a nearly identical clip between Double-A Akron and Columbus this season. The bulk of his work has come in Akron, where he’s pitched to a 4.24 ERA through 76 1/3 innings with a 32.7% strikeout rate and a decent 8.3% walk percentage. He was promoted to Triple-A a couple of weeks ago and made just two starts there before earning his first big league look.

Baseball America recently ranked Gaddis the #19 prospect in a strong Guardians farm system. The outlet cited his four-pitch mix, including a low-mid 90s fastball and a pair of quality secondary offerings in his slider and changeup. He’s generally shown solid control throughout his time in the minors as well, although his incredibly low ground-ball rates have led to some home run concerns.

Gaddis would’ve been eligible for the Rule 5 draft this offseason if not added to the 40-man roster. Cleveland will give him a roster spot a few months early and plug him right into the fire, starting a game against the Astros while the Guards are just a game behind the Twins in the AL Central. With Aaron Civale beginning a rehab assignment in Columbus tomorrow, it’s possible Gaddis’ initial stint consists of just a spot start. That he’s now on the 40-man firmly cements him as viable rotation depth for the big league club down the stretch though.