The Cleveland Guardians received an update on the status of Triston McKenzie and the news is not good. McKenzie has a UCL sprain in his right elbow according to reports and will be shut down for around a month before being evaluated again. The 25-year old missed his last start due to elbow discomfort and was subsequently placed on the injured list.
Considering the last update on McKenzie, this is not necessarily a surprising development. McKenzie missed the first two months of the season due to a right shoulder injury. Now that there is an issue in his right elbow and the UCL was specificially mentioned, it does not bode well for the long term health of Dr. Sticks. Nothing in regards to any potential surgery has been mentioned as of yet, but that is something to keep in mind as things move forward with further evaluations. The fact that an elbow issue popped up this quickly after missing a considerable amount of time already should be concerning.
Taking the place of McKenzie for now is rookie Gavin Williams. Williams will slide into McKenzie's rotation spot for Wednesday's contest against Oakland. Cleveland was forced to go down the spot starter road last time through the rotation and opted to go with Touki Toussaint before designating him for assignment the very next day. Ideally Williams lasts a bit more than Toussaint with the upcoming extended absence of McKenzie.
The Guardians were only able to get two starts from McKenzie before he was shut down again. McKenzie's first start was outstanding as he struck out 10 Twins while allowing just one hit across five innings in a 2-1 win. The second start did not go as well, giving up five runs on seven hits nad three walks in a 6-4 loss to Houston. McKenzie's drastic change in performance level was a cause for concern and that concern was well warranted based off of what is now known.
Hopefully McKenzie is able to avoid any type of medical procedure that would keep him out for an extended period of time. But if that ultimately is the path this goes down, it will be up to the trio of rookie Guardians pitchers to take command of the rotation not just for this season, but future ones as well.