The Tribe’s young starter, Triston McKenzie, has struggled this season. When he made his Major League debut last season I felt he had a ton of potential. McKenzie struck out ten batters in that debut which is the second most by an Indians pitcher in their first major league start. He had an electric presence around him and I feel he was easy to root for.
McKenzie has the nickname of “Sticks” due to his body build. He was limited to only pitching four to five innings per start in 2021. The reasoning behind that had some to do with his body frame. The development of his pitching mechanics needed to put him in the best position not to get injured at a young age.
At the beginning of this season I believe the Indians had the best starting rotation in the American League. As the season has went on a few pitchers have showed inconsistency. Zach Plesac had several shaky starts for Cleveland but he was able to adjust and improve. McKenzie has not been able to do the same.
In his last four games McKenzie has pitched 15 innings, giving up 16 runs and 16 walks. His lack of control has been the most concerning. In my opinion the walks were his biggest issue. Giving up a base on balls occasionally is to be expected. The problem was he was giving up four or five in each of his short starts.
What I consider to be one of the strengths of the Indians’ organization is their pitching development. With that said I believe if McKenzie puts in the work in the Minors he can make it back up to the Bigs. The rookie is only 23 years old. I like the heart and grit he has.
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