At the rate the Cleveland Indians are going, twice every fifth day, the Tribe will fall behind five runs by the time the second inning ends
Logan Allen was demoted to the alternate site following another outing in which he was shelled, early. Now, Triston McKenzie is the latest pitcher who’s forgotten how two pitch. The former first-round pick couldn’t find the strike zone after a dominant first inning.
McKenzie walked the bases loaded in the second frame and then served up a predictable grand slam to Tim Anderson during Cleveland’s 7-3 loss to Chicago on Saturday.
Truly, it’s a miracle McKenzie’s made it to a May as a member of the staff. Even Tito’s admitted that he doesn’t know how McKenzkie’s been able to get away with some of the pitches he’s thrown.
Now, the Indians are probably in need of another starter because McKenzie can’t be trusted to start another game.Even when he escaping major damage, he was only throwing four innings because the Indians are carefully monitoring his pitch count.
Now, Sam Hentges will get shot to start, while Cal Quantrill will be another candidate to open on the bump.
Of course, this all goes back to Adam Plutko. Knowing he was out of options and wasn’t going to make the club, the Tribe basically gave him away to Baltimore (for cash).
Plutko’s not starting in Baltmore, but he’s appeared in 10 games, pitching in 15 innings. He owns a 1.20 ERA. He has 10 strikeouts and four walks. McKenzie had four walks on Saturday.
Truthfully, we’ve been spoiled in Cleveland over the last five to six years. The Tribe’s routinely boasted one of the best staffs in the game, as any given starter could deliver a quality start or better.
Now, the next gen is being given a shot. Allen, McKenzie, Quantrill and Hentges have high ceilings, but the Tribe knew there would be growing pains–and they’re feeling them, at least with Allen and McKenzie.
The Indians have been ahead of the curve when it comes developing pitching, which is why it’s surprising they didn’t give Plutko a little more time. I mean, Plutko had no options, and apparently, that’s important to this club. It’s why Jake Bauers is on the team when he obviously shouldn’t be.
Plutko’s grandma didn’t send me a check to write this. He wouldn’t be a Cy Young Award candidate, but at the very least, I think he would’ve provide the back end of the rotation with some stability it’s severely missing right now.