The Cleveland Guardians need Triston McKenzie to come back and be ready.
The Cleveland Guardians offense is in shambles, the pitching is inconsistent and many fans are already overreacting and it’s not even June yet. The Guardians always take time to develop and even out their team under Terry Francona so we are far from hitting the panic button this season.
The thing that happens, nearly always, with Francona lead teams, is that some minor moves get made that help fix things. Peyton Battenfield and Zach Plesac are pretty broken at the moment, which is why one is on the DL and the other is in Triple-A Columbus. That said, the Guardians starting rotation isn’t bad.
They still have Logan Allen and Tanner Bibee, who are having solid rookie campaigns so far, and while Shane Bieber is no longer an Ace, he’s still putting up solid outings as well. Cal Quantrill isn’t nearly as effective as he was last year, but he’s still a good fourth option. So imagine what the rotation will look like when Triston McKenzie finishes his rehab assignment in Columbus and gets called up.
Triston McKenzie may be the mid-season addition that helps right the ship
In McKenzie’s first rehab outing, he threw 52 pitches (nearly half were strikes, 29), and only gave up two hits, and one walk with no runs scored. All while striking out four. It was a heck of an outing for one of the young pitchers the Guardians are hoping to build around. With Bieber seemingly losing the stuff that he had when he was the AL Cy Young winner, McKenzie may be the next in line to take the mantle from Bieber and chase the Cy Young.
It probably won’t be this year, as he’ll have missed two months of the season by the time he returns but he could put in a solid four months and give fans hope that he’ll compete in 2024.
Not to mention, if his stuff is still electric, he’ll likely just come in and give the team a much-needed jolt of energy they are sorely lacking. Considering the last few games the pitching has blown the games for the Guardians, getting someone like McKzenzie back may stabilize the rotation and bullpen by proxy.
Sometimes the energy a guy brings is so infectious that everyone steps up their game. Is that person McKenzie? Who knows, but it doesn’t hurt to hope.