CLEVELAND -- Starting pitcher Zach McAllister will make his season debut for the Indians on Monday, when the team hosts the White Sox for a day-night doubleheader.
Manager Manny Acta said the right-hander would likely start the first game of the twin bill. McAllister is 3-1 with a 2.83 ERA in six starts for Triple-A Columbus. He has earned victories in each of his last three outings, allowing just three earned runs on 10 hits in 17 innings (1.59 ERA).
"He's thrown the ball well," Acta said. "His last outing was very good. He's keeping his fastball down and maintaining his velocity that he showed in Spring Training. His secondary pitches are coming around."
McAllister participated in an open competition in Spring Training for the No. 5 spot in the Tribe's rotation. He made three appearances, posting a 4.50 ERA in six innings, but Jeanmar Gomez won the job.
In four starts with the big league club last season, McAllister went 0-1 with a 6.11 ERA. A forgettable outing in the nightcap of an Aug. 23 doubleheader skewed his numbers a bit. In that contest, he surrendered 10 runs (eight earned) in 3 1/3 frames. He yielded a total of just four earned runs in his other three outings.
"He threw the ball well the last couple of outings he had up here last year," Acta said. "He didn't hurt his chances in Spring Training, either."
The Indians won't have to make a roster move to recall McAllister. A new rule included in the collective bargaining agreement states that teams can carry 26 players on their roster for the entirety of a doubleheader. The roster must return to the normal size of 25 players following the conclusion of the second game.
"I think it's a great rule," Acta said. "It really put teams in a tough spot sometimes, when you have to make a move and option a guy out, and sometimes keep a guy up here or not have a guy up here for 10 days that you wish to have up here. I think it was a great decision."
Josh Tomlin (1-2, 5.27 ERA) is expected to start the other game of the twin bill. Chicago is slated to send Philip Humber and Eric Stults to the mound.