Cleveland Indians: Triston McKenzie will make first big-league start Saturday

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Former top 25 prospect Triston McKenzie will make his long-awaited major league debut Saturday against the Detroit Tigers.

With Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac in Lake County, the Cleveland Indians will be calling on a former top prospect to slide into the fifth spot of their starting rotation in Triston McKenzie.

McKenzie will make his major league debut Saturday for the Indians when he starts against southpaw Matthew Boyd and the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field.

The 23-year-old right-hander was formally ranked among the top 25 prospects in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline and is now ranked as Cleveland’s ninth-ranked overall prospect and third-best pitching prospect.

The Indians drafted McKenzie with the 42nd overall pick of the 2015 MLB Draft. He soared is way through Cleveland’s minor league system posting a 2.68 ERA, 26-16 record and 394 strikeouts in four minor league seasons (2015-18) ranging from Rookie-Ball to Double-A. He entered 2019 as the Indians’ top-ranked prospect.

His ranking dropped due to a season-ending injury as he missed the entire 2019 season with lat and pectoral muscle strains.

Back and healthy, he was named a member of the Indians 60-man player poll for the 2020 season and now will be getting his first chance to prove himself at the big league level.

If McKenzie is able to have success, this could open the door for the Indians to pull the trigger on trades for either Clevinger or Plesac that have lost the trust of their big league teammates.

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