McAllister proving he belongs in Tribe's rotation

McAllister proving he belongs in Tribe's rotation

McAllister proving he belongs in Tribe's rotation
CLEVELAND -- Only one Indians starter totes an ERA better than 4.00.

It isn't Justin Masterson, last season's workhorse. It isn't Ubaldo Jimenez, who the Tribe acquired last July for the organization's top two pitching prospects.

It's Zach McAllister, who is 4-1 with a 3.17 ERA in eight starts for Cleveland this season and has been the club's most consistent hurler of late.

This isn't McAllister's first rodeo with the Indians. He made four spot starts with the club last summer and filled in for four outings in May while Josh Tomlin was on the disabled list. In his current tour of duty, he has made four starts, posting a 3-0 record and 2.31 ERA, while tallying 24 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings. The 24-year-old is focused on staying with the big league club this time around.

"If I do my job and pitch well, then I think that will happen," McAllister said. "I try not to think about that. I just want to go out and pitch well."

For the last few weeks, McAllister has anchored an up-and-down starting rotation. Just as it appeared as though Masterson and Jimenez were back on track, both right-handers were roughed up during Cleveland's four-game split in Tampa Bay this week. Derek Lowe and Tomlin haven't exactly been models of consistency, either. Lowe has a 7.16 ERA over his last nine outings and Tomlin has a 6.40 ERA over his last six starts.

So, while the rest of the rotation searches for answers as the Indians hang around in the American League playoff race, the Indians will continue to hand McAllister the ball every five days.

"The pressure is fun," McAllister said. "It's fun to be in the race and be in contention."