Zach McAllister wins rotation spot with Indians

6 Comments

Indians hurler Zach McAllister has impressed manager Terry Francona enough to win one of the rotation spots in the back of the rotation. Via MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian:

Francona informed McAllister that he will be a member of Cleveland’s Opening Day rotation, most likely sliding into the fourth slot behind Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez and Brett Myers. Indians general manager Chris Antonetti has maintained all spring that McAllister had a leg up for one of two available jobs, but it is now official.

McAllister posted a 4.24 ERA in 125.1 innings last season, displaying an ability to miss bats at the Major League level while limiting walks. He relies mostly on a fastball and curve combination as the two combined for 85 percent of his pitches thrown last season, but will occasionally mix in a change-up.

“There’s nothing we don’t like. I’m being serious. He has a presence and he’s got leadership qualities,” Francona said, speaking about what he liked about his 25-year-old pitcher.

Alex Dickerson to miss 2017 season after undergoing back surgery

Getty Images
1 Comment

Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.

Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.

The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.

Video: Hanley Ramirez’s No. 250 career home run barely left the field

Getty Images
1 Comment

Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.

Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.

According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.