Ominous News For Guardians Front-Line Starter

Anytime a pitcher's injury involves the UCL (ulnar collateral ligament), it's an ominous sign. For the Cleveland Guardians, the news is hitting especially hard as one of their top starters, Triston McKenzie, is now facing that diagnosis. 

Manager Terry Francona says an MRI on McKenzie showed inflammation in the elbow. He says that means "the UCL is involved." Often with the UCL, thoughts turn to the possibility of Tommy John surgery. The team can only hope that's not the case here. Francona is still using the word "ambiguity" to describe what's going on with McKenzie, and the team will know more after he's examined further in Cleveland this week.
The 25-year-old had just returned earlier in June after missing the first two months of the season with a teres major strain. He made just two starts before having to head back to the IL. 

It's a huge blow to the team, as McKenzie was the Guards' ace at the top of the rotation in 2022, with a 2.96 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. 

The most likely candidate to replace him in the major league rotation is Gavin Williams, who at Triple-A this season has a 2.39 ERA in 12 starts with a 0.98 WHIP and an 81:24 K/BB ratio.

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