With Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jiménez and the newly acquire Brett Myers locking down spots one-through-three in the Cleveland Indians’ rotation, general manager Chris Antonetti says that Zach McAllister has a “leg up” on winning one of the final two spots as the team heads into Spring Training.
McAllister, the 25-year old right-hander, will have his fair share of competition as the team not only traded for top prospect Trevor Bauer, but also signed starters Daisuke Matsuzaka and Scott Kazmir. Carlos Carrasco has recently been given full clearance by the Indians’ training staff as he continues to come back from Tommy John surgery. Left-hander David Huff continues to be mentioned in regard to the Indians’ bullpen.
Antonetti added that Bauer will have a legit shot at making the starting rotation, but it is believed he will begin the season in Columbus. Matsuzaka, who was introduced on Tuesday after passing his physical, stated that he had multiple teams to choose from, but signed with the Indians due to the presence of Terry Francona and the fact that the Tribe reside in the American League.
“I want to pitch against Boston,” Matsuzaka said of his former team.
The 6-foot-6-inch McAllister posted a record of 6-8 with a 4.24 ERA and 1.36 WHIP over 22 starts in 2012. He was one of the team’s most consistent pitcher early on, including a 3.40 ERA and a 3-1 record before the All-Star break. Unfortunately, the second half saw McAllister’s strikeout-to-walk rate was sliced in half while his home runs allowed doubled.