CLEVELAND -- Part of the learning process for a young pitcher on the big league stage is dealing with a larger workload each season. Indians rookie Zach McAllister is currently going through that process.
McAllister has moved into uncharted waters in terms of innings for one season, and the right-hander's results have become increasingly inconsistent. Manager Manny Acta feels McAllister might be dealing with some late-season fatigue.
"It's very late in the season," Acta said. "He could be fatigued. Some of these guys are playing an extra month than they have played in the past. We're still very impressed with the way he's gone about his business here every five days."
On the season, the 24-year-old McAllister is 5-8 with a 4.31 ERA in 20 starts for the Indians. Between Triple-A Columbus (63 1/3 innings) and Cleveland (112 2/3 innings), McAllister has logged a career-high 176 innings this year, with two starts likely remaining on his schedule.
McAllister worked 172 1/3 innings between Triple-A (154 2/3) and the Majors (17 2/3) a year ago.
Coincidence or not, McAllister has gone 1-6 with a 5.72 ERA in his past 10 starts (50 1/3 innings), compared to 4-2 with a 3.18 ERA in his first 10 outings (62 1/3).
The pitcher was not willing to blame his workload for his second-half slide, though.
"I don't know about that," McAllister said. "Last year was pretty close to the same amount of innings I have now, but obviously big league innings are different than Triple-A innings. I don't like to use that as an excuse for me. I expect to go out there and pitch well every time."
Despite the recent results, Acta said the team likes what it has seen from McAllister.
"We're very happy with the way he's thrown the ball here," Acta said. "But, obviously, the name of this game is consistency -- not only with your mechanics, but executing your pitches."