With Justin Masterson being placed on the DL yesterday, the Indians were in need of a starting pitcher for Saturday. Terry Francona has announced that Zach McAllister will in fact get that start versus the Chicago White Sox.
Francona: McAllister will come up from AAA to start for Indians on Saturday.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) July 9, 2014
McAllister started the year in the Tribe rotation and got off to a hot start going 3-1 with a 3.14 ERA over his first five starts. However, a now questionable decision to start him on three days rest came next and in his last five starts he went 0-3 with a 10.13 ERA before being placed on the 15-day disabled list. He was activated three weeks ago but due to a rainout was quickly optioned to AAA Columbus due to the Tribe did not needing a 5th starter some time. This turned out to be a bit costly (for McAllister at least) as Masterson’s knee got to the point where he had to have a start pushed back resulting in McAllister losing his roster and rotation spot to T.J. House.
While a lot of big leaguers would be upset and pout at their misfortune, McAllister simply went about his business. In his next four AAA starts threw 26.1 innings with a 2.39 ERA, 26 K and just 4 walks. He went at least 6 innings in all four starts while going 4-0 and maybe most importantly did not allow a Home Run in any of those four starts (something that plagued him at times in the big leagues). Overall in the minors this year McAllister has a 5-0 record over 7 starts and 40.2 IP, including a 2.66 ERA, 38 K, 8 BB, and 2 HR. While it is just the minor leagues, one really can’t ask for much more from a starter down there.
Indians will need to make a roster move for McAllister but with nine bullpen arms currently in the pen it would seem logical that Nick Hagadone will be back on the bus to Columbus come Saturday. However, I would not rule out House being optioned to Columbus after his start tomorrow. Thanks to the All-Star break coming up, the Tribe would not need House until July 22nd at the earliest and then would be able to recall him (more than 10 days) for that start. The Indians have been making moves like this all year so would come as no surprise if they go that route yet again.