The Cleveland Indians are in a very difficult spot right now.
Triston McKenzie was among that bunch before he was demoted to Triple-A just a few days ago.
His demotion opened up a spot as well, which created a hole considering Logan Allen was demoted before him.
Sam Hentges is now getting a chance to earn a full-time role as fans await the next rookie to get a shot.
Yet for now, McKenzie is back up with the Indians simply out of necessity.
But it seems regardless of performance, he is headed back down to Columbus after the game.
This puts the young man in a tough spot.
Triston McKenzie will start for the Indians tomorrow and will be optioned back to Triple-A after the game.
— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) May 26, 2021
The Tough Spot
The whole reason McKenzie was sent down in the first place was to work on his mechanics.
He is now back before getting that time.
The young pitcher’s last outing was on May 21 in a disastrous 10-0 loss against the Minnesota Twins.
McKenzie only allowed two hits, which sounds good.
The problem was he walked five batters and ultimately gave up six earned runs in just 3.1 innings on the mound.
A demotion followed and he is now back on his normal schedule.
Hey Triston McKenzie, you’re gonna get to go pitch at Triple-A and work on some mechanical issues without the added pressure of being in a major league game situation. pic.twitter.com/XruzhJdnZI
— Ryan Lewis (@ByRyanLewis) May 26, 2021
So let’s say he has a bad night Wednesday.
The whole process of getting him back on track would simply be pushed back a few days, bringing into question whether it would be smarter to just go with a bullpen game.
McKenzie only had 37 strikes on 72 pitches in his last outing.
Positives on the Year
It has not been all bad for McKenzie.
He has allowed one run or fewer in three of his starts and has 44 strikeouts on the year.
The problem, as mentioned before, has been the walks.
He walks nearly one batter per inning on average and that will doom any pitcher, let alone a 23-year-old with limited MLB experience.
But perhaps this surprise start Wednesday can motivate McKenzie.
He just saw himself lose his spot, only to get it back for a night after a weird turn of events.
Players get opportunities because of injuries all the time and seeing a starting job fade away will hopefully lead McKenzie to turn it all around.
However, that may just be wishful thinking because he is only a few days removed from a terrible start.
If McKenzie does struggle again, the front office is going to have to figure out yet another player to stick into the rotation.
The good news Wednesday is that McKenzie gets to go up against a bad Detroit Tigers lineup.
A bad night against that team may spell doom for his 2021 outlook.