Sunday, October 2, 2022

The Naylor brothers of Canada hit one after another for the parents heading into the playoffs on Sunday. CBC Sports

Sunday was the family look of the Cleveland Guardians lineup.

Manager Terry Francona’s batting line-up against Kansas City shows the Naylor brothers from Mississauga, Ont., hitting one after the other. Josh hit the cleanup and played first base and Bo, who was called up from the minors on Saturday, finished fifth as the designated hitter. Both players bat with the left hand.

Bo is expected to be on Cleveland’s post-season roster as the third catcher. On Saturday night, he became the 17th Guardian player to make his major league debut this season, matching the franchise record set in 1912 and tied two years later.

He entered the sixth inning, going 0 for -2 and trying to steal second base to Royals outfielder Kyle Isbell.

“We wanted to let the kid out of the way tonight,” Francona told reporters about Bo.

The 22-year-old Bo was picked by Cleveland in the first round of the 2018 draft. He started the season at Double-A Akron and was promoted to Triple-A Columbus in June. He batted a combined .263 in 118 games with 21 homers, 68 runs batting and 20 stolen bases.

Bo is the only catcher in the minor leagues this season to have 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases.

Cleveland acquired 25-year-old Josh Naylor from San Diego in 2020. He played a major role in Cleveland’s surprise run for the American Central title last season by overcoming a serious leg injury. He is batting .251 with 19 home runs and 73 RBI.

Elected 12th overall in the 2015 draft, Josh has already been traded twice to the Miami Marlins. He set an MLB record by going 5-for-5 in his first five post-season at-bats.

“Trading is an incredible experience because you fight both sides of the ball, evil and good,” he told Vivek Jacob in the spring of 2021 for a story. “As you move forward in your career and in your life, you realize that everything happens for a reason.”

Naylor’s love of baseball began with his parents, Chris and Janice. Chris grew up playing both hockey and baseball and so he chose to introduce Josh at a young age. Josh took the game and competition like a duck in the water, and any opportunity to bowl an over was an opportunity he could not miss. It was a kid who was determined to have all the fun in the world.

“Ever since he was a kid, he was a Tasmanian devil [of] Energy,” Janice said. “That’s what we nicknamed him—the Tasmanian Devil—because, honestly, it was non-stop with him. He was playful, he was interactive, whether it was at school, in the neighborhood, it was always go, go, go, go, go.

“And baseball was one of those things he always wanted to play or it was hockey. He always wanted to play and let everyone play with him. Me, Grandma, his dad, his siblings, the neighbors, that’s a lot. He was energetic, good-natured young man.”

A probation officer, Janice always looked to make sure her boys were focused and disciplined. She wanted her children to be goal-oriented from the start; This was one of the principles of her upbringing. No matter how small, she wanted to make sure they were always chasing someone. And by setting goals, the trickle-down effect took care of the “process.”

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