Indians relief pitcher Zach McAllister registered his first save of the season during Sunday's win over the Reds. McAllister closed out the 11th inning of a 5-3 win by striking out both of the batters he faced. He now has a 3.02 ERA with 56 strikeouts and 13 walks in 44 2/3 innings of relief this season.
Indians pitcher Zach McAllister made his first (and, so far only) start this year on April 10, and got knocked around for five runs on 13 hits in four innings against the Tigers. After that disaster of an outing, McAllister was moved to the bullpen where the right-hander has adjusted very nicely. Since the move, McAllister has pitched a total of 15 innings entering play on Thursday, and has allowed just three earned runs while recording 16 strikeouts. He has not allowed a run to score in his last five appearances. And he's been a key part of the pitching staff, having the ability to give manager Terry Francona innings out of the 'pen if needed. He can also come in for a shutdown inning as well. "He's been really solid," said pitching coach Mickey Callaway, per the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "You can tell by the way we've used him that we trust him in any situation right now. It's good if a guy needs a day off or for whatever reason, we feel like he can throw in any inning we want, even close if need be. It's really a valuable thing to have in the 'pen."
The Indians announced Friday they placed starting pitcher T.J. House on the 15-day disabled list due to left shoulder inflammation. However, the team did not immediately announce who will replace him in the rotation. House said his shoulder injury flared up during an emergency start Saturday against the Tigers, per MLB.com. He had to fill in for Trevor Bauer, who was scratched due to an illness. House threw a bullpen session last Friday and was then thrust into action Saturday. House dropped to 0-4 after a 5-1 loss to the Blue Jays on Thursday. He lasted just three innings, allowing five runs. He has not pitched past three innings in three of his four starts. He has a 13.15 ERA and 2.54 WHIP. A potential rotation replacement could be Zach McAllister, who was sent to the bullpen in mid-April to clear a rotation spot for Danny Salazar. McAllister, who has made one start this season, has a 2.31 ERA in six relief appearances.
The Saturday start of Indians right-hander Danny Salazar in Minnesota won't be a one-and-done. He is destined to stay in the rotation while Zach McAllister heads to the bullpen, per the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Salazar pitched horribly in spring training despite hitting 95 mph consistently. But he hurled six shutout innings with seven strikeouts in his first start at Triple-A Columbus before being recalled. "I have to show them that I've been working hard," Salazar said, per MLB.com. "I have to prove it." McAllister has struggled to find the plate with anything but his fastball as a starter. He is considered better suited to come out of the bullpen, where his 97 mph fastball can be most effectively utilized. "I think Zach's going to be a starter in the Major Leagues," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "But right now, I think he can really help us as a weapon in the bullpen."
Indians pitcher Zach McAllister will be available out of the bullpen Tuesday, as the team will not need a fifth starter until April 22, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. McAllister struggled in his season debut Friday, giving up five runs on 13 hits in four innings. It's possible he's better suited to the bullpen role, and potential fifth starter Danny Salazar produced a gem in his season debut at Triple-A.