Indians’ McAllister has “leg up” for one of final two rotation spots

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.

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  • NoVA Buckeye

    I think ZMac has earned a spot with the way he pitched last year. Having him in the back of the rotation while Kazmir and/or Matsuzaka rehab in C-Bus would be extraordinary.

  • ThatAlex

    Here’s my projected opening day rotation:

    1. Masterson
    2. Jimenez
    3. Myers
    4. McAllister
    5. Carrasco

    IF Matsuzaka does well in spring training, I can see him making the club as a spot starter or long relief. I project Kazmir will be stashed in Columbus until further notice.

    When one of the above starters goes down in flames (probably Ubaldo, but in all honesty could be any of them) I see Trevor Bauer waiting in the wings to take over as early as May.

  • Not that a rotation of any combination of those guys is necessarily the worst overall as a whole, but really, they’re all basically #4 or 5 starters across the board quality wise. We don’t have a single guy that I feel confident about (i.e. penciling in 15 wins, sub 4 ERA, 200 innings, etc). Even in our worst days, we knew we at least had a reliable Nagy in there. Question marks across the board gives me ills.

  • Steve

    They’ll be limiting Carrasco’s innings as well as Bauer’s. I’ll guess that Matsuzaka or Kazmir put enough together to be worth a shot at the #5 spot. By mid-May they’ll have reached the point where Carrasco and/or Bauer can avoid their max inning count, and we’ll surely have a hole or two in the rotation that needs to be filled.

  • mgbode

    I get what you are saying, but Nagy only hit those marks twice in his career(15W+200IP+sub4ERA) out of 13 full seasons.

  • mgbode

    I think you are right, but I really hope Kazmir is healthy enough to be at least a shell of his former self. Dice-K is a BB-machine and I just don’t trust him (as you could probably guess since I’d rather hope a guy who hasn’t pitched in 2years wins the job).

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    I like how Dice-K apparently hates him some Sahx.

  • Steve

    I’m not holding out much hope for anyone in the rotation, especially either of those two. Kazmir might have enough life on the fastball (supposedly was getting it back up over 90) to keep around as a long man after he likely flames out of the rotation.

  • True, Nagy wasn’t to that level every year, but absent a stud at the front of the rotation, he was about as reliable/consistent a SP that we had…ala Westbrook.