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.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch told the media, including MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, that starter Dallas Keuchel will come off of the disabled list and rejoin the rotation on Friday against the Tigers. Keuchel has missed nearly two months with a neck injury.
Prior to landing on the DL, Keuchel was 9-0 with a 1.67 ERA and a 69/18 K/BB ratio over 75 2/3 innings. He seemed to be on his way to potentially win another Cy Young Award.
Hinch also noted that Collin McHugh will start on Saturday and Lance McCullers will start on Sunday.
Braves starter Aaron Blair had a nightmarish bottom of the third inning on Wednesday afternoon against the Diamondbacks. He had just given up a run on a Daniel Descalso triple hit to center field that center fielder Ender Inciarte read poorly. In the following at-bat, Ketel Marte laced a curve ball to right field. Sean Rodriguez wasn’t able to get to it in time, so the ball bounced off the fence and caromed back towards the stands along the right field line. By the time Rodriguez was able to retrieve the ball, Marte was already on his way home and scored standing up.
The inside-the-park homer will certainly provide a boost to Marte’s stats. He entered Wednesday’s action batting .196/.255/.370 in 51 plate appearances.