CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Prior to Friday’s series opener against the Texas Rangers, the Cleveland Indians designated starting pitcher Zach McAllister for assignment – with the intent to later option him back to Triple-A Columbus – and recalled outfielder Tyler Holt from the Clippers.
In order to option McAllister to the minors, Cleveland must secure optional waivers – a process that will take two days, and is necessary for players that are three years removed from their Major League debut. While awaiting the right to option him to Columbus, the Indians were forced to designate him for assignment, strictly a procedural move.
“He’s not going anywhere,” manager Terry Francona said.
After allowing four runs in 3.1 innings on Thursday against the Seattle Mariners, the team talked to McAllister about what the future holds – and how they plan to approach it.
“We talked to Zach for probably an hour,” Francona said. “A lot of it was just trying to understand with young players, pitchers and players, sometimes they lose track of… they want to be so good so bad, they lose track of how to get there. They want to stay in the Major Leagues so bad as opposed to [asking themselves] how am I going to help our team win? Because he might be the hardest worker in the room. He has so many qualities about him that we admire. Now, I think he needs to understand that we were in his corner. We’re never going to root or want to send somebody down. When you start feeling that type of feeling, you’re putting a lot more on your plate. It’s not helping. So, we tried to talk a lot about stuff like that.
“What we agreed to do was, in a day or so, meet up again with Reuben, Tony, Mickey, Derek, all of us, and both kind of talk about how we think we should proceed – what type of pitcher he is – stuff like that. Because when we leave that meeting, I think it’s very important that he starts to pitch at Triple-A and not feel like he’s on an island, or not feel like he’s alone, doing it himself.”
McAllister started the 2014 season hot, going 3-0 with a 2.28 ERA in his first four starts, but is 0-6 with a 7.89 ERA in 10 big league starts since.
“I think a lot of it, at times, is confidence,” Francona said.
McAllister’s departure leaves another opening in the Tribe’s rotation. Lefty T.J. House will take one of the open slots on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the move for Holt became necessary due to a knee injury to outfielder Chris Dickerson.
“Dickerson is not able to quite get to extension today,” Francona said. “Not much swelling, but he’s just able to get there. We want to stay away from him tonight. So, we thought having somebody here [was best].”
Dickerson left Thursday’s game after taking an awkward route to a fly ball in left field. He was diagnosed with left knee discomfort.
Francona feels the outfielder could return to the lineup as soon as Saturday against Texas.
In the meantime, Holt rejoins Cleveland after a brief stint in the bigs earlier this season. He appeared in one game, logging an inning in right field on July 6.
The 25-year old was hitting .317 with Triple-A Columbus.
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