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Kyle Manzardo's first stint in the majors lasted exactly 30 games. The Cleveland Guardians DH and first baseman has been optioned back to Triple-A Columbus to make roster space for All-Star third baseman José Ramírez, who's back from a stay on the paternity list. 

Across those 30 games and 87 plate appearances, the 23-year-old Manzardo struggled. He batted .207/.241/.329 with no home runs and 23 strikeouts against just three walks. Manzardo's underlying quality-of-contact numbers were similarly disappointing, so it's difficult to dismiss his difficulties at the plate as being driven by misfortune. That said, the data sample is a small one, and plenty of promising hitters fail to produce during their first exposures to pitching at the highest level. 

Acquired from the Rays at least year's trade deadline in exchange for Aaron Civale, Manzardo came into this season ranked as the No. 45 overall prospect in MLB by CBS Sports. Here's part of R.J. Anderson's February write-up: 

"All Manzardo has done as a professional is hit and hit some more by combining a disciplined approach with a feel for the barrel. He lacks the top-end exit velocities (and strength) commonly associated with the first-base position. All the Guardians can do is hope that he continues to make up for it by hitting for average (something he notably did not do in Triple-A) and minding the zone. He should get an opportunity to join the Cleveland lineup sometime early in 2024."

Leading up to his May promotion, the former second-rounder out of Washington State batted .303/.375/.642 for Triple-A Columbus with nine homers and 10 doubles in 29 games. The expectation is that Manzardo will find his way back to Cleveland soon enough. 

As for Ramírez, the face of the franchise returns with a robust OPS+ of 144 and 18 homers in 66 games this season. The first-place Guardians on Tuesday behind a three-game home set with the Seattle Mariners, who lead the AL West.