Cleveland Guardians Welcome MLBbro Triston McKenzie Back To the Rotation This Weekend

Cleveland Guardians Welcome MLBbro Triston McKenzie Back To the Rotation This Weekend

With postseason hopes fading with each passing day, the Cleveland Guardians may have to start their transition plans to figuring out their inventory of talent in preparation for next season. That change in mission statement is probably the reason why MLBbro Triston McKenzie aka “Dr. Sticks” will be returning to the mound on Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles.

 

Our MLBbro has been besieged with injuries to his throwing arm all season long. He missed the first two months of the season with a serious muscle strain in his right shoulder. In his first start of the season, McKenzie came out with a dominating performance against the Los Angeles Angels with 10 strikeouts. 

 

 

Soon after, McKenzie left the rotation again with right muscle strain in his shoulder. For the last two games of rehab assignments at Double A-Akron and Triple-A Columbus, there seems to be no setbacks and our MLBbro is scheduled to take the mound at Progressive Field.  

 

In those rehab starts, McKenzie was 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA and seven strikeouts in 6 ⅔ innings.

 

First start at Double-A Akron:

 

Our MLBbro was solid in his first rehab session allowing only one run, one hit and a walk. Throw in four strikeouts in only 44 pitches, McKenzie moved up to his next assignment in Columbus.

 

 

Second start at Triple-A Columbus:

 

The second rehab start was not as successful as his first, giving up three runs over 3 ⅔ innings. Our MLBbro served up 62 pitches (37 strikes) but gave up two home runs…

 

McKenzie Good To Go For 2024 

The positive part of this situation is that Triston McKenzie and the franchise were on the same page throughout the rehab process. No one should be surprised that our MLBbro is getting some action on the mound at the end of the season. According to manager Terry Francona, this was the plan as far back as July…

 

“He feels real good about the direction he wants to go,” manager Terry Francona said in July before a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves. “I guess you call it the conservative way, which is nonsurgical.”

“It would give him a chance to pitch for us this year,” Francona said. “I think that’s important. And I think he thinks that. I think everybody thinks that’s important. So he doesn’t go into the offseason not knowing.”

 

McKenzie established himself in Cleveland’s future plans with a 11-11 record and a 2.96 ERA in 30 starts last season. He’s already considered one of the core starters next season with the potential to be the ace of the staff, something that MLBbro.com knew a while ago…

 

These Three MLBbros Are Destined For Superstardom In 2023 | Bahamian Blur, Dr. Sticks & Money

 

Look for this appearance Sunday to serve as another rehab assignment for Triston McKenzie. Assessing injuries that could have long term effects for a pitcher, particularly one on the throwing arm is always challenging. 

The Guardians cannot afford to attach McKenzie’s future to Tommy John surgery. Terry Francona and the front office is looking at this as an information gathering type of scenario. 

 

“As much as we want to win, you can’t not care about them and do this job,” Francona said. “It just doesn’t work that way. And so you immediately kind of change into a different mode – ‘OK what’s best for him?’ And since none of us really know that, that’s why we encourage getting the multiple opinions.”

 

Here’s hoping that the Cleveland fanbase get this “Dr. Sticks” back on the mound next year…

 

 

Three MLBbros Look to Power Guardians to Division Lead | Josh Bell, Josh Naylor & Dr. Sticks For The Win

Three MLBbros Look to Power Guardians to Division Lead | Josh Bell, Josh Naylor & Dr. Sticks For The Win

The Cleveland Guardians came into the season looking to build on a 2022 season that saw several MLBbros make major contributions to their American League Central division crown. 

 

Triston McKenzie has established himself as one of the best young arms in the game, while first baseman Josh Naylor became a mainstay in the heart of their lineup. The front office added free agent Josh Bell in free agency to provide more offense to a ball club that looked poised to repeat in a winnable division.

 

Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned to begin the season. 

 

 

Injury Delays McKenzie Debut

 

The excitement surrounding Triston coming off a spectacular 2022 campaign was put on hold when he was pulled after one inning of the Guardians final Spring Training game and eventually diagnosed with a strained shoulder. 

 

 

McKenzie was coming off a season where he posted a career best 2.96 ERA and 190 strikeouts to go with a 0.95 WHIP. The injury left Cleveland shorthanded and their record early on reflected it. 

 

Triston was sidelined until June 3, when he was reinstated by Cleveland and slated to start against division rival Minnesota. McKenzie was electric in his first start back, giving up only one hit while striking out 10 in five innings. His second start didn’t go as well, as Dusty Baker’s Astros were able to scatter seven hits and five runs over the five innings he pitched. 

McKenzie will need time to regain the form we saw him to close last year’s season, but his return should once again form a formidable 1-2 punch at the top of Cleveland’s rotation with former Cy Young winner Shane Bieber.

 

 

Bell and Naylor Starting to Heat Up 

 

While the return of McKenzie was a much-needed shot in the arm to the Guardians rotation, switch hitting slugger Josh Bell finally making his presence felt in Cleveland’s lineup couldn’t have come at a better time.

Over his last seven games Josh is slashing .308/.379/.692 with three homers and six RBI for the Guardians, who are 5-2 in that span. Bell was well aware of the expectations that came with the two year, $33 million deal he signed with the notorious thrifty club this offseason, but despite the expectations placed on his personal achievements, he remained focused on winning above all. 

 

“Obviously, it would be awesome if I were hitting .450 with 30 homers right now,” said Bell after the Guardians 5-0 victory Sunday. “But for the most part. Once you sign a contract like that and start meeting the guys in spring training and develop that camaraderie, the most important thing is winning.”

 

 

Bell hasn’t been the only Josh doing damage in Cleveland’s lineup as of late, as fellow MLBbro Josh Naylor has been on fire. Naylor is slashing .436/.476/.618 with 24 hits and 16 RBI over his last 15 games. 

 

“When the results are there, you just ride the wave,” said Bell. “That’s what (Josh) Naylor has been doing. He’s doing the same routine every day in the batting cage, the same with Ramirez.”  

 

Cleveland has won nine of their last 15 ballgames, and even after such a slow start the Guardians are in position to once again take over the American League Central. If they have any hopes of repeating as division champions, their fifth crown in seven years, these three bros will be central to that push. 

 

Bro Prayers Are Being Answered As Triston McKenzie Works Back From Shoulder Injury | Cleveland Needs Dr. Sticks Back On Duty

Bro Prayers Are Being Answered As Triston McKenzie Works Back From Shoulder Injury | Cleveland Needs Dr. Sticks Back On Duty

The Cleveland Guardians were faced with a significant blow when right-handed pitcher and MLBbro Triston McKenzie had to start the season on the injured list due to a shoulder injury. We were excited to see this brother go out and be electrifying on the mound to start the season. Well, we have to patiently wait until we get to see McKenzie back there on the mound.

 

A shoulder injury is no joke, especially as a pitcher. So, Cleveland wants to be cautious and not rush anything. Last week, the Guardians did receive some good news regarding its talented young pitcher.

 

 

 

McKenzie had the opportunity to do some throwing, and even though it wasn’t much, it definitely is a step in the right direction. Guardians’ manager Terry Francona spoke about McKenzie and how he’s dealing with the injury. 

 

“Trust in the medical people, but also pushing to get better. And that’s kind of a fine line—I think Triston’s really handled it well. He keeps pushing and pushing and pushing,” Francona told a local Cleveland news station.

“Today he went out and played catch today for the first time. It was only I think 40 feet and it was 20 throws, but he’s doing a really good job—and because of that, he’s going to give himself the best chance to come back the healthiest he can be and the most productive.”

 

The Guardians placed McKenzie on the 60-day injured list, meaning we won’t see him possibly until the end of May. MLBbro.com’s Charles Nyonga had the opportunity to speak with McKenzie about his injury and how the rehab process has been.

 

 

Triston McKenzie can make an immediate impact once he returns

 

Last season, McKenzie set career-highs in wins (11), ERA (2.96), and strikeouts (190).

 

Triston McKenzie Will Play Key Factor In Guardians Playoff Push

 

This MLBbro was a bright spot in Cleveland’s rotation last season and was a big help in the team’s postseason run.

 

There’s no question that Cleveland misses his presence on the mound. The American League Central will most likely be a battle between the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland. McKenzie has shown that he has what it takes to be that No. 1 guy and it’s evident that Cleveland sees a lot of potential in him.

 

The 25-year-old will have to ease his way back into his normal form, but when that does happen, opposing teams will be in for a rude awakening. Dr. Sticks was poised to make an impact at the start of the season for the Guardians, and there were talks of him potentially being in the running for the American League Cy Young award. It will be a wonderful sight to see once McKenzie is back on that mound and doing what he does best.

 

 

He brings a lot of energy and excitement to the game and the clubhouse needs him to provide that on and off the field. McKenzie has dealt with injuries throughout his career and that’s been a thorn in his side for sure. Hopefully he can get his health in order, so he won’t have to keep missing significant time and depriving the MLB world of his amazing talent.