By: T.J. Zuppe
Indians pitcher Zach McAllister has filled the shoes of injured starter Josh Tomlin wonderfully. So wonderfully in fact, the Tribe did not miss a beat with Tomlin down via wrist injury.
However, after Tomlin’s 50-pitch simulated game went well Thursday, McAllister’s stay at the big league level – at least for the moment – has come to an end.
The Indians optioned McAllister to class-AAA Columbus. Cleveland announced Tomlin will be activated from the disabled list Monday and will start against the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field.
In the meantime, the club recalled 23-year old class-AA infielder Juan Diaz from Akron.
The move allows Acta to add an extra position player for their series in Chicago, while not losing anyone off the bench or bullpen. With Diaz already on the 40-man roster – and his stay with the big club very temporary – he will provide depth with third baseman Jack Hannahan (back) on the mend.
Diaz - acquired in 2010 with Ezequiel Carrera from Seattle in exchange for Russell Branyan - will wear number 29 and will be making his major league debut. The switch-hitter is batting .232 with the Aeros this season but .330 against right-handers.
McAllister went 1-1 with the Indians. He had an ERA of 3.96 in 25 innings of work. The 24-year old right-hander struck out 22 and walked six.
More than anything, he carried himself with more confidence than when he appeared in 2011.
His stint in the majors did not go unnoticed. Acta spoke highly of McAllister this season and was very impressed with the strides he made from last year. His fill-in was not an ideal situation but he responded nicely.
Much like the role righty Jeanmar Gomez filled last season, expect McAllister to return when needed – or possibly being used as trade bait at the July 31st trade deadline. Certainly, the Indians were not the only team to notice his progression.
And who says you can ever have enough pitching?
Tomlin returns from the DL Monday with a record of 1-2 and an ERA of 4.67.
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