The Cleveland Guardians are still planning to get AL Cy Young Shane Bieber and right-hander Triston McKenzie back into their rotation before the 2023 MLB season wraps up. This was confirmed to reporters by Terry Francona on Monday.
According to Francona, the Guardians expect Bieber and McKenzie to return by September 20th. If everything goes according to plan, both will have multiple starts in the final two weeks of the regular season.
“Hopefully, they’ll stay on track and come back and pitch for us,” Francona said. “They’ve attacked what they’ve been asked to do, which is the way you want it. The hope is that there aren’t any hiccups.”
Bieber has been out since early July while dealing with elbow inflammation. He started 19 games during the 2023 campaign and has a 5-6 record with a 3.77 ERA and 95 strikeouts.
McKenzie, on the other hand, has been out since mid-June with a sprain in his right elbow. The 26-year-old made two starts this season, going 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA and 15 strikeouts.
The return of Bieber and McKenzie will be crucial if the Guardians intend to make a late push to catch the Minnesota Twins at the top of AL Central. Cleveland is currently at 66-72 and 6.0 games behind the Twins.