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.
Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:
Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.
They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.
Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.
Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.
So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.