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Cleveland Indians send RHP Triston McKenzie back to minors after wild outing

The Indians hope another trip to the minors helps Triston McKenzie eventually stick in the majors.

Cleveland optioned McKenzie to Triple-A Columbus for the fourth time this season on Sunday after the right-hander failed to get out of the first inning against Seattle a day earlier.

President of baseball operations Chris Antonetti and manager Terry Francona met with McKenzie on Sunday morning.

“Like any player, we want to make sure we understand what’s going through their mind and what’s getting in their way of having the results they want,” Antonetti stated.

McKenzie had been called up from Columbus before the match. He issued four walks, including one with the bases loaded, and retired two of the six batters he faced.

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McKenzie, who started the season in the rotation, leads the AL with 39 walks.

He struck out 10 in 5⅓ innings versus the Chicago White Sox, including a club record eight in a row, on May 31 but followed that with Saturday’s short outing.

“We’ve seen he’s capable of pitching really successfully up here, so we know it’s possible,” Antonetti said.

McKenzie, 23, is 1-3 with a 6.38 ERA in 11 games and has struck out 59 in 42⅓ innings. He was a first-round selection in the 2015 draft and pitched in eight games for the Indians last season.

Cleveland used seven relievers Saturday and rallied for a 5-4 win in 10 innings.

The Indians’ rotation has struggled behind Shane Bieber and Aaron Civale. Zach Plesac broke his right thumb when he angrily pulled off his shirt after a poor outing last month. He started playing catch last week, but there’s no timetable for his return.

McKenzie, Logan Allen, J.C. Mejia, Sam Hentges, Cal Quantrill and Eli Morgan have been used as starters, but no one has pitched well enough to secure a rotation spot. Mejia and Quantrill will start the first two games in Cleveland’s upcoming series versus Baltimore. The starter for Thursday is undetermined.

“I don’t think we have any other choice but to look at it creatively,” Antonetti said. “We know we’re going to have to rely on a number of different players. It’s not gonna be able to just, ‘Hey, we’re gonna run the same five guys out there every five days.'”

Infielder Ernie Clement was called up from Columbus.

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Suddenly short-handed, New York Yankees placing RHP Corey Kluber, 1B Luke Voit on injured list

Yankees right-hander Corey Kluber is expected to miss at least two months with a right shoulder injury, and first baseman Luke Voit is also headed to the injured list with a right oblique strain.

New York manager Aaron Boone revealed the diagnoses Wednesday shortly after the Yankees’ scheduled game versus the Toronto Blue Jays was postponed because of a poor weather forecast. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader Thursday.

Kluber was pulled after three innings Tuesday versus Toronto in his first outing following a no-hitter last week. An MRI on his ailing shoulder Wednesday revealed a subscapularis strain, which is expected to keep Kluber from throwing for at least four weeks, followed by at least four weeks of rehabilitation.

The two-time American League Cy Young Award winner is being sent for a second MRI with dyeing, a more invasive exam to ensure there’s no other damage.

Kluber was coming off a 101-pitch effort against the Texas Rangers for the 35-year-old’s first no-hitter. It was a milestone high for a former ace recently beset by injury — his 2019 season with Cleveland ended that May 1 when he was hit on the forearm by a comebacker, and his debut for Texas in 2020 lasted just one inning before he tore a muscle in his right shoulder on July 26

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Boone stated he doesn’t believe the no-hitter caused Kluber’s injury. Kluber called the whole situation “frustrating” Tuesday, saying he felt some tightness in the shoulder warming up, but it’s unclear what caused the injury.

“He wasn’t as sharp,” Boone said Tuesday in his postgame availability. “And there was a handful of pitches where there were some misfires up.”

Kluber dropped to 4-3 with a 3.04 ERA.

Deivi Garcia and Michael King are the chief candidates to fill his rotation spot.

Garcia, currently with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, was already scheduled to rejoin the big league team and make a spot start this weekend versus Detroit as New York plans for 13 games in 13 days.

“We’ll have to pick up the slack for him, obviously,” Boone said.

New York entered Wednesday 28-20, one game behind the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays and a half-game behind the Boston Red Sox.

Voit’s diagnosis was even more of a shocker. Boone said the slugger started to feel discomfort in his side Saturday that worsened Tuesday, prompting an MRI that revealed a Grade 2 strain.

Voit, who led the majors with 22 home runs last campaign, is hitting .182 with one homer in 12 games after missing the start of the season following surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee during spring training.

DJ LeMahieu and Mike Ford are expected to fill in for Voit at first base. Miguel Andujar could also see time there.

New York is hoping to get slugger Giancarlo Stanton back from the injured list this week. Stanton, out with a quadriceps injury, ran on the field Tuesday and Wednesday, and Boone said he’s eyeing a Friday return, although he didn’t rule out Stanton as an option for Thursday.

The Yankees are also without outfielder Aaron Hicks, who was scheduled to have left wrist surgery Wednesday that could keep him out the rest of the season. LeMahieu returned to the team Wednesday after going on the paternity list Tuesday for the birth of his first child. He was slated to play first base.

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