Andres Jiménez of the Cleveland Guardians throws Victor Reyes of the Detroit Tigers over first base during the third inning of a baseball game in Cleveland on Friday, July 15, 2022.  (AP Photo/Ron Schwain)

Guardians’ Andres Gimenez stepping up and turning into a superstar, teammate says

Cleveland – Zach Plesac played almost two full seasons at Cleveland Francisco Lindor was traded to the New York Mets before four-time All-Star shortstop.

On Friday night, the right-hander Plesack said he sees another star like this being made. And although he didn’t mention Lindor by name, the implication seemed clear.

Plesack was referring to Guardian second baseman Andres Jiménez, a natural shortstop selected for his first All-Star Game.

Jimenez entered the running for victory in the seventh inning with a two-out single in left field as the Guardians came from behind for a 6-5 win over the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field.

“He’s doing his job,” Plesack said of Jimenez. “Ever since I’ve been here, I’ve seen some good middle fielders in his position, the Gold Gloves, and he’s played well in every way,” Plesack said on Friday. “He is a multi-threat player playing in these big moments.

“He hit a walk-off home run a few weeks ago [June 30 against Minnesota], Tonight comes big. I mean, when people are stepping up and coming forward in the big moments, then you know a player has a special season and they are in a good place. It’s always good to see a man come out when he does.”

Only two middle fielders have won the Gold Gloves during Plesack’s tenure. Lindor took the honors in 2016 and 2019, with second baseman Cesar Hernandez, now with the Washington Nationals, earning the only gold glove of his career at Cleveland in 2020.

Acquired from the Mets in January 2021 in a Lindor deal, Gimenez has become someone the Guardians look up to in the clutch. He’s also an analytics-lover’s dream.

Jiménez, 23, improved his slash line to .384/.440/.767 with the runners in the scoring position, in his first full season in the majors. Entering the day at .380 batting at that position, he had the second highest qualifying average in the Majors in scoring positions after Tampa Bay’s Ji-Man Choi (.413). Jimenez’s .767 RISP slugging percentage trails only behind Shohei Ohtani (.784) of the Los Angeles Angels, who is among the major leaguers to qualify.

Andres Jiménez of the Cleveland Guardians throws Victor Reyes of the Detroit Tigers over first base during the third inning of a baseball game in Cleveland on Friday, July 15, 2022.  (AP Photo/Ron Schwain)

Andres Jiménez of the Cleveland Guardians throws Victor Reyes of the Detroit Tigers over first base during the third inning of a baseball game in Cleveland on Friday, July 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ron Schwain)

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Just as impressive is Jimenez’s numbers in win versus loss. His slash line in the Guardians win is .367/.418/.597 with 17 extra base hits and 35 RBIs. In losses, it is .214/.282/339 with seven additional base hits and eight RBIs.

Then there is his defense. Entering Friday, his seven defensive runs placed him fourth among MLB second basemen. He gave an example in the fourth innings with one out and one while leaping for a line drive off the Tigers’ Willy Castro’s bat.

“It’s a big play. It looks like the ball finds the player because it’s needed in those conditions,” Plesak said.

“So it feels good to see people like him step up and turn into superstars. He really is. It’s good to see.”

Offensively, Jimenez said he doesn’t do anything differently with the runners at base.

“I think the game decides what my approach is and what adjustments I make for that part of the game,” he said through an interpreter. “Every view I take is based on what the team is doing and finding ways to help the team win.”

In seventh, Jiménez was facing right-hander Michael Fulmer, an All-Star in 2017 and 2016 AL Rookie of the Year.

Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Andrew Chaffin (37) tags in Andres Jimenez of the Cleveland Guardians during the sixth inning on Friday, July 15, 2022 at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Andrew Chaffin (37) tags in Andres Jimenez of the Cleveland Guardians during the sixth inning on Friday, July 15, 2022 at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

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Asked if he was looking for a slider, Jimenez said, “Not really. He’s a great pitcher and he has command of all his pitches. I was just trying to play the ball.”

He didn’t think he had.

“Honestly, no, I thought it was too much,” Jimenez said of the ball falling in front of left fielder Robbie Grossman. “thank God.”

Jimenez also gave credit to his teammates who set him up for success.

In the seventh, Miles Straw went ahead with a walk and Steven Kwan doubled right to right, never hesitating to second base. After the dismissal of Amade Rosario, Jose Ramirez went deliberately, loading the bases for Josh Naylor. Naylor hit a sacrificial fly to the left to tie the score, setting the stage for Jimenez.

Gimenez said, “The guys who were ahead of me did a really good job getting me to bat and I think it tells a lot about who we are, how we face adversity and how we Will keep fighting.”

Guardian manager Terry Francona had the same view on the innings.

“His bullpen is really great. A lot of times in a game we hit the ball, in this age of baseball where there are a lot of strikeouts,” said Francona. “Gimi didn’t hit his ball. [hard]But he killed. Naylor reached out and it was enough to get a sack fly. It’s a hekuva that’s a lot better than striking out.

“Then when we put the ball in the game, people put themselves in a good position to move on. It gives us a little bit more opportunity.”

Cleveland Guardians’ Aaron Siwale has a CT scan of his right wrist

The Cleveland Guardian watches a throw to starting pitcher Aaron Seavale during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 in Cleveland.  (AP Photo/David Dermer)

The Cleveland Guardian watches a throw to starting pitcher Aaron Seavale during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

Aaron Siwale, right, had a CT scan of his sprained right wrist on Friday, ahead of his appointment with specialist Dr. Thomas Graham on Monday.

Sivale was placed on a 15-day injured list on Thursday after being forced to leave after an innings against the Chicago White Sox on Thursday. Sivale immediately got an MRI done and Francona said there was some swelling in the ligament on Thursday.

“He felt it the other night on a breaking ball,” Francona said of Sivale.

Cleveland Guardian catcher Luke Malle survives a concussion

Luke Mel #12 of the Cleveland Guardians hits a pitch foul against the Cleveland Guardians at Comerica Park on July 5, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan.

Luke Mel #12 of the Cleveland Guardians hits a pitch foul against the Cleveland Guardians at Comerica Park on July 5, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan.

Francona said catcher Luke Malle, who took a hard foul-ball shot from his mask on Wednesday, managed to avoid an injury.

“They all [tests] – They drove him through the ringer yesterday,” said Francona. “If he can do that, he’s fine. His jaw is a real pain. I’m sure he’ll say the same thing, much more than hit a snag. ,

Marla can be reached from Ridenour at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MRidenourABJ.

This article was originally published in the Akron Beacon Journal: Guardian second baseman Andres Jiménez has higher comparisons

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