Triston McKenzie Gets Sent Back To The Minors For Some Fine-Tuning

Triston McKenzie Gets Sent Back To The Minors For Some Fine-Tuning

Triston McKenzie wasn’t phenom – enal enough.

Hence, after a seesaw start to the 2021 season, the Cleveland baseball team has chosen to option the future phenom to their Triple-A affiliate Columbus Clippers one day after losing 10-0 to the Minnesota Twins.



McKenzie walked five in just 3 ⅓ innings and allowed six earned runs.

“I feel like it’s been kind of a common theme in all of my starts, the walks,” McKenzie told reporters after his team was routed. “I feel like we’ve worked on some delivery stuff leading up to this start, in between my previous starts.

“I’m just trying to make sure everything stays consistent once I get out there. I feel like now it just comes down to a mindset thing and making sure I’m in the zone.”



Cleveland manager Terry Francona spoke on his young pitcher’s continuing wild streak. “When he loses the strike zone, it’s like he gets to a point and he’s trying to stay away from contact and trying to be too perfect, and the walks are piling up,” Francona told

Pitching coach Carl Willis chimed in on the mindset of the young prodigy and how it wasn’t an issue compared to his arm skills while going after batters. Willis said he thought McKenzie’s fastball and curveball are worthy of big-league competition, but he is not attacking and challenging hitters as he is afraid of contact.

McKenzie has accounted for 41 strikeouts on the season but had a league-high 30 walks. Worse, his earned run average is 6.89 in just 31 1/3 innings pitched. After stringing together some solid starts to begin the season, in his last four appearances, T-Eazy was a suspect 1-3 with a 9.60 ERA and 16 walks.



Let’s take it easy on the 23-year-old upstart as he is still learning and working on his craft as he is by all measures still a rookie. He has pitched in a combined 33 1/3 innings while being a prospect. 

Earmarked for success, McKenzie took the mound in 90 2/3 innings, going 7-4 with 87 strikeouts and while showcasing his talents in Double-A for the Akron Rubbernecks.

Pro Football Hall Of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe once said, “A man can make his destiny on the very road he took to avoid it.” 

That indeed is what Cleveland and McKenzie did during last year’s pandemic-shortened season as the organization’s continuous search for another arm and decided to have him skip the process of developing more in Triple-A, which has been on display since Opening Day.



We have all harped on the struggles of the young man who, through his first three innings of his seven big league starts in the 2021 season, has held opposing hitters to a batting average of .159. In innings four and above, he has an ERA of 16.88 is a different story. 

The timing is undoubtedly fortuitous as McKenzie will look to get back to his once phenomenal pace with the proper tooling and defined knowledge of the position led by staffers and coaches. Let’s hope this stint in the minors is short-lived and prosperous.

Sometimes you have to take a step backward to take 100 steps forward.