“He’s really athletic,” Toronto Blue Jays skipper Terry Francona said May 5 before the Guardians hosted the Toronto Blue Jays at Progressive Field in the first of a four-game series.
Triston McKenzie is 6-foot-5 and listed at 165 pounds. The body-frame of McKenzie will only develop over time and improve but the Guardians brass isn’t worried. When asked about his size and if that would matter, McKenzie responded:
“I don’t know how I stay so slender. I feel like I eat a decent amount. I think it’s just how my body works……I believe baseball is very taxing. I feel like I burn through a lot of what I eat. I’d say throwing the way I do is me learning my body and learning what makes me feel good and being consistent day in and day out.”
McKenzie’s had somemore gems since that near no-hitter in 2021. Dr. Sticks (1-2) threw 6⅓ scoreless innings in his last game against the Oakland A’s.
McKenzie, held the A’s to three hits, struck out seven and walked one as Cleveland swept a series at the Oakland Coliseum for the first time since April 10-12, 2000.
McKenzie spoke to the media after the A’s game and said, “For me to be successful, a lot of it is mixing my pitches up and keeping guys guessing. We stuck to the game plan really well today.” Short and simple for the laid-back Guardians ace. “Coming up here in 2020 when stuff was a little weird (because of COVID) and evolving through last year, coming into this year, I feel a lot more comfortable,” McKenzie said. “I feel the team aspect has grown on me. I know a lot of the guys really well now.”
McKenzie made his debut in 2020.
After a rookie season where he said he didn’t feel comfortable asking certain questions around the veterans in the clubhouse, McKenzie is happy with his teammates and their bond as it continues to get better.
Guardians catcher Luke Maile has high praise for the star MLBbro young pitcher.
“Really powerful stuff, really violent,” Cleveland catcher Maile said about McKenzie’s outing. “To call pitches for a guy like that is awfully fun because even when he’s got something else in mind, you really can’t go wrong when he executes well.”
McKenzie did not allow an Oakland runner to reach second base until Chad Pinder’s one-out single put two aboard in the seventh, which is particularly impressive.
Guardians skipper Terry Francona spoke about McKenzie, saying, “He didn’t give up much. There were times where he lost the strike zone, but he reeled it back in in a hurry, as opposed to 3-4 hitters.”
McKenzie’s next start will be against the Toronto Blue Jays who have lost three of their last five games.
The MLBbro pitching phenom has an impressive resume so far in 2022, including a 2.70 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 24 strikeouts over 23 1/3 innings of work. He will face the Blue Jays next time out. This will be a tough task as the Blue Jays have a stacked batting lineup that includes our very own MLBbro, George Springer.