BALTIMORE -- Every time Zach McAllister has been summoned to the Indians, the right-hander knew a trip back to the Minor Leagues was likely around the bend. This time around, the plan is to keep McAllister in the rotation for a while.
That knowledge can be beneficial for any player trying to cut his teeth in the Majors.
"It is helpful," McAllister said. "But at the same time, I also know that if I don't do my job, I can get sent down. I definitely have that type of mindset of knowing that I have to perform. If I don't, it's not acceptable."
After all, that is why McAllister is up with the Indians right now.
Right-hander Jeanmar Gomez labored over his past six outings, posting a 7.92 ERA in that span, and he was sent packing for Triple-A Columbus on Monday. Gomez earned the fifth-starter's job with a stellar spring, but that role has been handed to McAllister.
So far, McAllister has provided some consistency in his time with the Tribe.
"He has given us an opportunity in all those outings that he's had," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "He's a guy that continues to make improvements, not only command of his fastball, but also his secondary pitches."
On Thursday, McAllister beat the Orioles with a strong fastball and slider, limiting Baltimore to two runs over 5 2/3 innings. Over his last seven Major League starts, including his final two outings a year ago, McAllister has gone 2-1 with a 3.29 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. In 41 innings during that span, the righty has collected 36 strikeouts with just nine walks issued.
In his past two Minor League seasons -- this year and last -- McAllister has gone a combined 17-5 with a 3.22 ERA, a 1.21 WHIP and 180 strikeouts in 218 innings for Triple-A Columbus. He was 5-2 with a 2.98 ERA through 11 starts for the Clippers at the time of his latest promotion.