Opening week has already presented hardship to one potential American League contender.
The Cleveland Guardians are looking to build on an inspirational 2022 season, one that was destined for a rebuild but ended in a nail-biting ALDS defeat against the New York Yankees. The club now prepares to open the season with a series against the young upstart Seattle Mariners without one of their top starters, MLBbro Triston McKenzie.
After a doctor found a muscle strain in his shoulder, the Guardians shut the MLBbro down for two weeks, with the possibility of missing eight weeks in total. The 25-year-old showed flashes of inconsistency and brilliance last year, as evidenced by his 11-11 record. He also posted a 2.96 ERA and started 30 games, his most durable season to date.
McKenzie Shut Down For Arm Tightness & Pain
McKenzie, also known as ‘Dr. Sticks’, felt tightness and soreness in his arm before his last game and was pulled after an inning due to continuous pain. McKenzie was entrenched as the No. 2 starter for the Guardians and was poised to ascend the team after a breakout season in 2022. After last year’s postseason performance, the MLBbro gave Guardian’s fans extreme optimism. In Game 2 of the American League Wildcard Round last year, McKenzie pitched a dominant six innings, allowing only two hits, zero runs, and 8 Ks. This dynamic showing was followed by a game in which McKenzie didn’t have his best stuff but showed extreme guts, lasting five innings but surrendering four hits, including two home runs and four runs total.
When Will Triston McKenzie Return?
McKenzie has been no stranger to injury, as he missed the 2019 season due to injuries to his rotator cuff. While the worst expectation is that the MLBbro can miss up to two months, the Guardians are hopeful for a shorter potential stint on the IL. 2023 is a big year for the young pitcher; he and the city of Cleveland would hate to see it marred by injury. However, the Guardians should not rush his return, as a healthy McKenzie will be integral to the team’s success over the 2023 season if they look to return to their first World Series since 2016.
MLB just ain’t the same without Dr. Sticks. The MLBbro Family is wishing him a quick recovery!!