When the Cleveland Guardians first called up right-hander Triston McKenzie to the big leagues in 2020, they knew they had an electric arm for years to come, but he might need some refinement and polish.
He had a brilliant 3.24 ERA in a small sample that year.
He earned a rotation spot in 2021 and had an ugly first half with his control: he couldn’t throw strikes.
After some time in the minors and a lot of work, he was much better in the second half, but still finished with a disappointing 4.95 ERA in 120 frames.
The 2022 campaign, however, seems to be his full-on breakout party.
The talented righty has been dominating in his most recent turns.
“#Guardians RHP Triston McKenzie over his last three starts: 21.0(IP) 9H 0R 0ER 6BB 23SO 0.00 ERA,” Guardians Prospective tweeted.
#Guardians RHP Triston McKenzie over his last three starts. 🔥🔥🔥
– 21.0(IP) 9H 0R 0ER 6BB 23SO 0.00 ERA#ForTheLand
— Guardians Prospective (@CleGuardPro) July 15, 2022
He Is Doing Special Things For A Young Pitcher
Throwing 21 scoreless innings in a row is something that your average MLB pitcher certainly can’t do.
It’s incredible difficult: yet McKenzie, when he is on and has full command of his pitches, is truly special.
For the season, he has been the Guardians’ best pitcher not named Shane Bieber so far, with a 3.20 ERA in 101.1 innings.
He has struck out 96 hitters against just 27 walks, a sign of a dominant pitcher.
The Guardians have to be very happy about the soon-to-be-25-year-old pitcher and his progress, and perhaps his recent starts are a sign that he unlocked another gear when it comes to performance.
In any case, the Guards will need a healthy and effective McKenzie if they are going to make a serious run at a playoff spot.
They are currently 44-44, just 3.5 games behind the Minnesota Twins for the AL Central lead.