CLEVELAND, Ohio — Triston McKenzie walked through the dugout Sunday morning and nodded to a bunch of reporters on the field.
Somebody asked McKenzie how he was doing. “I’ve had better days,” he said.
McKenzie was told a few hours before that he was being optioned to Class AAA Columbus following his brief start Saturday against the Mariners. Utility man Ernie Clement was recalled to take McKenzie’s spot on the roster.
The Indians beat Seattle, 5-4, in 10 innings Saturday after McKenzie recorded just two outs, along with four walks, before manager Terry Francona had to go to the bullpen. After the game, McKenzie told reporters he was “overwhelmed” by the crowd (20,116) at Progressive Field and let the game get away from him.
“Like any player we want to understand what’s going through their mind and what might be getting in their way from having the results they want,” said Chris Antonetti, Indians president of baseball operations. “We spent some time with Triston talking through that a little bit. We were trying to figure out, ‘OK how do we help him? How do we use the time in Columbus to prepare for the next opportunity up here.’”
McKenzie heads to Columbus with this stat line in 11 games, including 10 starts: 1-3, 6.38 ERA, 42 1/3 innings 28 hits, 30 earned runs, eight homers allowed, 39 walks and 59 strikeouts. The opposition is hitting just .188 against McKenzie, but…