The Cleveland Indians are not going to stop the starting rotation shuffle until they have a reliable group of five.
After that comes the competition for the final two.
The latter two, who are both in Triple-A, are those we expect to see back some point very soon.
Triston McKenzie's 8 Consecutive Ks. 😯 pic.twitter.com/068uvmdWkJ
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 31, 2021
2. Triston McKenzie And His Unique Situation
McKenzie could not stop walking batters so he was ultimately demoted a few weeks ago.
Then Plesac injured himself and the Indians decided to bring McKenzie back on his normal schedule.
The first start upon his return was great, as he went five scoreless innings against the Detroit Tigers.
His team did end up losing 1-0, but the young pitcher did all he could to help.
His next start, on Memorial Day, was a weird one.
McKenzie did allow five earned runs, but he also had 10 strikeouts in only 5.1 innings of work.
So he flashed some dominant stuff while also struggling to limit the damage.
The right-hander was then sent to Triple-A Columbus and looked solid in his first start there.
Triston McKenzie's line from his start for Triple-A Columbus this afternoon:
5.1 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts, 71 pitches
— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) June 6, 2021
One interesting note is that this start was McKenzie’s Triple-A debut.
He spent 2018 in Double-A Akron before missing the 2019 season and then getting the call-up in 2020 during the shortened campaign.
This shows his youth and a few starts in Triple-A may be what he needs to improve.
But fans should expect him back rather soon as a permanent member of the rotation.
1. Eli Morgan Seeking Another Chance
The Indians called up Morgan in May and had him pitch during a hurricane.
Well, it wasn’t that bad, but it was easily the worst weather the team has played through in recent memory.
Morgan was then scheduled for a second start, only to be bumped by Mejia, who was then bumped because of weather.
This schedule is not ideal for any pitcher so the Indians sent Morgan back to Triple-A.
It seems obvious the front office will give him another shot very soon.
His first start was, no pun intended, a total wash.
The weather was a disaster and having a pitcher make his MLB debut in a rain and windstorm is not the brightest idea.
The Indians having two off-days this week complicates the schedule for the young pitchers.
Pitchers like Bieber and Civale will get to go before anyone else thanks to that extra rest as the rotation will be reset.
But pitchers like Quantrill and Hentges have not been lights out as starters, leaving plenty of room for Morgan to get another shot and prove he does truly belong.