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Who Will Replace Trevor Stephan on Guardians Opening Day?

Spring Training nearly inevitably features a tragedy or two befalling a pitcher’s elbow or shoulder and this year is no exception, with Guardians relievers Trevor Stephan having a bone bruise on his pitching elbow and James Karinchak dealing with shoulder routine.

Stephan was a revelation in 2022, putting up a 2.19 FIP and 11.59/2.34 K/BB/9, establishing himself as the 8th inning guy for the Guardians. This earned the former rule-5 draft pick a five-year extension from the Guardians. Stephan took a step back in 2023, with a 3.56 FIP and a 9.83/3.41 K/BB/9, but hopes were high for the usual volatility of a relief pitcher to swing back in the Guardians’ direction with a return to more of 2022 form for the right-handed hurler.