The Cleveland Guardians were a force in the American League Central last season thanks in large part to their dynamic starting pitching duo of Shane Bieber and Triston McKenzie.
However, the Guardians have been without McKenzie for most of the 2023 season.
He went on the injured list on Opening Day with a right teres major strain.
The 25-year-old worked his way back and returned for all of two games before being placed back on the injured list with a right elbow sprain.
On Tuesday, the Guardians got more bad news on the young right-hander.
According to Guardians beat writer Zack Meisel, McKenzie has a sprain in his UCL and will be shut down for several weeks before being re-evaluated.
Triston McKenzie has a sprain of the UCL in his right elbow. He’s being shut down for several weeks to start (he estimated a month or so) before he’ll be re-evaluated.
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) June 20, 2023
This is bad news for the Guardians, who have benefitted greatly from having Bieber and McKenzie as a one-two punch at the top of their starting rotation.
Often times, a UCL injury ultimately results in Tommy John surgery.
Fortunately, McKenzie’s UCL is not torn, which would be an automatic sentence for Tommy John surgery.
However, this will likely keep the 25-year-old down for quite some time.
McKenzie himself estimated that it would take him roughly a month before he can be re-evaluated.
The Guardians won 92 games last season and cruised to their first AL Central title since 2018 and their first under their new name.
This season has not been kind to the defending AL Central champions, as they sit in second place with a record of 34-38, though they are only one game back of the first-place Minnesota Twins.NEXT: The Guardians Are Calling Up A Prized Prospect