The much anticipated debut of Gavin Williams is right on the horizon. According to reports, Williams will make his MLB Debut for the Cleveland Guardians Wednesday against Oakland.
Williams will be following other top pitching prospects in Tanner Bibee and Logan Allen to make their debuts for the club this year. The timing of Williams' call up does come with some bad news attached, as Triston McKenzie is being shut down for a considerable amount of time with a UCL injury. The timeline for McKenzie's return does appear to be lengthy, somewhere in the 4-6 weeks range at minimum. This could provide an opportunity for Williams to stick around in Cleveland should he pitch well.
While the aspect of being without McKenzie yet again is less than ideal, the timing schedule wise could not be better for Williams. Cleveland is scheduled to face the Athletics, Brewers, Royals (twice), and Braves before the All-Star break. If Williams makes it past one lone start and stays with the club, there are some advantageous pitching matchups for the young rookie.
This could be a bit of a preview for the future of the Cleveland Guardians rotation. Bibee and Allen have already solidified their spots in the rotation and now Williams gets his shot. If Williams performs as advertised, it could jump start some conversations about the future of a certain former Cy Young Award winner and his place on this team.
It has been a fast ascension to the big leagues for Williams. The 6-foot 6-inch 23-year old right-hander started the year in Double-A. After three dominant starts with the RubberDucks, Williams found his way to Columbus to be part of the Clippers' pitching staff. The step up in competition did imapact his overall numbers, but nothing that indicates that Triple-A is too much for him at the time. Williams made nine starts for the Clippers, compiling a 3.13 ERA, 1.087 WHIP, and 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings. This was a predictable jump from his ridiculous 0.93 ERA, 0.628 WHIP, and 12.6 strikeouts per nine while at Akron. Here is to hoping that Williams can keep up his outstanding work on the mound now that he has reached the majors.