On a day when there were a number of notable call-ups around baseball, the Cleveland Indians announced one of their own. The team announced that the organization’s ninth best prospect Triston McKenzie would be recalled this weekend. Furthermore, the team announced that the right-hander would make his MLB debut on Saturday against the Detroit Tigers.
Paul Hoynes who writes about the Indians for Cleveland.com had the news first. A link to the story featured below can be found here: https://www.cleveland.com/tribe/2020/08/triston-mckenzie-will-make-big-league-debut-saturday-in-start-vs-detroit.html.
Cleveland Indians’ Triston McKenzie will make big-league debut Saturday in start vs. Detroit https://t.co/XdCZMeTeJ3
— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) August 20, 2020
So far this season, the primary hallmark of the Indians success has been the starting rotation. After all, heading into play Thursday the team currently leads all of baseball with a 2.61 ERA over 24 games or 214 innings of work. Furthermore, the team ranks first in strikeouts (250) and has issued the second-fewest walks (57) of any team. Only the St. Louis Cardinals rank better in that category.
With the uncertainty surrounding Zach Plesac and Mike Clevinger with the trade deadline approaching, the Indians could simply be evaluating their options with this move. However, it could also be a move simply to manipulate service time, especially for Plesac. Regardless of the reasoning, McKenzie should be a game-changer for an already strong rotation.
More on Triston McKenzie
Last season, Triston McKenzie dealt with an upper-back strain which ended up derailing his entire 2019 campaign. If McKenzie was healthy, he likely would have made his MLB debut at the end of last season.
Scouts note that McKenzie features a three-pitch mix which is highlighted by his fastball. McKenzie’s fastball typically sits between 91 and 96 miles per hour (MPH). In addition, scouts believe it is a plus pitch because of the movement that it features. The 23-year old is able to throw it with a lot of spin and extension as it moves towards home plate.
Furthermore, the righty relies on a curveball that sits in the upper-70’s. McKenzie has the ability to really deceive opposing hitters with his curve because it features so much spin. Finally, the other pitch in his repertoire is a changeup that left-handed hitters have a very hard time making contact with. On the scouting scale, McKenzie received a grade of 60 for his fastball and curveball. Meanwhile, his changeup got a grade of 55 overall.
The biggest takeaway about McKenzie is that he is definitely a strike-thrower. Since starting in rookie ball during the 2015 season, he has racked up 394 strikeouts over 59 starts. In addition, McKenzie has held opponents to a .194 batting average in that span. As he continues to gain experience at the big league level, he should only continue to get better.
Regardless if this move was made in anticipation of the looming August 31st trade deadline or simply to add a jolt to the Indians pitching staff, it is a very exciting one for sure. Heading into play Thursday, the team sits in second place, a half-game back of the Minnesota Twins.
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