BRONX, NY — It’s always a New York homecoming for Andrés Giménez, though the 24-year second baseman of the Cleveland Guardians spent a limited time with the cross-town Mets.
Regardless, Giménez will always call New York home after the Mets traded him to Cleveland with Amed Rosario in a six player trade during the offseason in 2021. Giménez was a Mets top prospect and had limited playing time but was in their plan.
But the Mets wanted more for their infield and All-Star Francisco Lindor was available. Giménez was expendable, in return the Indians, as they were called, received their key player and the Mets acquired pitcher Carlos Carrasco and Lindor.
The rest is history. Lindor is across town at Citi Field and Giménez is an American League All-Star, Rawlings Gold Gold winner at second base, and signed an extensive seven-year lucrative contract with the Guardians.
He is in the lineup everyday and intends to stay there, hoping to remain healthy after a breakout 2022 season that posted the third highest WAR in the AL behind the Yankees’ Aaron Judge and Shohei Ohtani of the Angels.
“It’s fun to play here, to come here and just compete with a great team against the Yankees,” he said Tuesday evening prior to the Guardians 4-2 loss in the Bronx.
Giménez, (Barquisimeto, Venezuela) got a Gerrit Cole fastball in the third inning and recorded an RBI that accounted for two of the Guardians’ runs. Though not known as a power hitter, gets on base, and among AL leaders in stolen bases with five.
“Trying to keep it that way,” he said about making contact. “Hopeful the luck will change. Main thing is win ball games, that is what counts. Get big hits and get on base.”
Giménez has that special bond with Rosario, once two prospects across town at Citi Field. Their dressing quarters are near each other, pre game stretching they are brothers on the field, and of course bond more with Rosario positioned at third base.
Rosario, (Santo Domingo, Centro DR) also has five stolen bases, sixth in WAR, and recorded his 12th career four-hit game two weeks ago against the Marlins.
The Guardians are expected to contend again and favorites to win the NL Central division, though in an early season struggle as are the Yankees. José Ramírez, Josh Bell, and Mike Zunino are the veterans.
Giménez, though, will be the first to say he is not a veteran, despite having that All-Star 2022 season.
“Veteran not really,” he said with a smile. “We have to respect those guys in big leagues,” referring to a veteran presence in the Guardians lineup. “I am trying to be where they are everyday.”
And in the lineup everyday is bringing more consistent at-bats. Giménez is patient and his at bats against Cole included that anticipation of the fastball, though he struck out swinging on a nasty four-seamer in the sixth.
There are so many attributes in his brief career, in particular those stats that go unnoticed but become factors in winning ball games. Giménez is the fifth hitter in club history with at least 17 runs over the first 15 games of the season.
— MLB (@MLB) April 2, 2023
Prior to the season, Giménez represented team Venezuela in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, a highlight of his young career. There, his season commenced with the mentality and competition that plays a role in being part of the WBC.
“You want to be there,” Giménez said. One of the best parts of baseball to be a part of it. More mental for you and focus on ballgames to get you ready for the competition of the season.”
A season that Giménez hopes will lead the Guardians to a division title and playing baseball deep in October. After the finale of this three-game series with the Yankees, the Guardians return to New York again next month and visit the Mets at Citi Field.
He will be returning to his old stomping grounds at Citi Field, a team at one time that perceived Giménez as their infield star for a long time.
But he is a longtime Guardian and will be an anchor in Cleveland for the next seven years.
Rich Mancuso: Co-editor and senior writer latinosports.com Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso.
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