CLEVELAND -- Zach McAllister wasn't discouraged when the Indians sent him back to Triple-A Columbus in May. Even though he had pitched well during his time in the starting rotation, he knew he had to stay positive if he was ever going to find his way back to Cleveland.
"It wasn't surprising," the 24-year-old McAllister said. "I knew it was coming, [it was] just a matter of time. I kind of took it as I was happy with the way I performed for that first time. I knew I needed to continue to pitch well at Triple-A or somebody else would come up and take my spot.
"When you're one of those guys that's up and down, it's a matter of being mentally strong and trying to compete against yourself. I knew I had the stuff to get guys out in the big leagues. I also knew if I didn't do my job down there, I wouldn't get that opportunity again."
He continued to pitch well with Columbus and, when Jeanmar Gomez began to struggle with the Indians, McAllister got another opportunity in the big leagues. He's become Cleveland's most consistent starter since being recalled on June 28, and he figures to remain in the rotation for a while.
McAllister is 4-2 with a 3.21 ERA in nine starts this season. Even though he was called up to be the Indians' No. 5 starter, McAllister is the only Cleveland starter with an ERA under four.
The right-hander's success can be attributed, in part, to his ability to settle in on the mound early. In five starts since rejoining the rotation, McAllister has allowed one run before the fifth inning.
"He's been great since he's been up here," said Indians setup man Vinnie Pestano. "He's been on the unfortunate side of a couple starts or else his numbers would probably look even better than they are."