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Guardians DFA struggling RHP Plesac to make room for McKenzie’s return

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Cleveland Guardians designated right-handed pitcher Zach Plesac for assignment on Sunday in the process of returning Triston McKenzie to the rotation.

McKenzie took the mound in Minnesota for his season debut, having been sidelined since the end of spring training with a muscle injury in his right shoulder.

The Guardians also optioned right-hander Michael Kelly to Triple-A Columbus to clear a spot on the 26-man roster for McKenzie, who was activated from the 60-day injured list. That meant the Guardians needed an opening on the organization’s 40-man roster. Plesac, who was sent to Triple-A a month ago, was the odd man out. He had a 7.56 ERA in five starts for Columbus.

The 28-year-old Plesac had a 7.59 ERA for Cleveland in five starts before his demotion. He was 3-12 with a 4.31 ERA in 24 starts for the Guardians in 2022. With McKenzie and Aaron Civale rejoining the rotation this weekend following injuries, the Guardians have plenty of starting pitching including 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner Shane Bieber and promising rookies Logan Allen and Tanner Bibee.

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