McAllister returns from DL; Lee optioned

McAllister returns from DL; Lee optioned

McAllister returns from DL; Lee optioned

SEATTLE -- The Indians have their rotation together again.

On Tuesday, Cleveland activated right-hander Zach McAllister from the 15-day disabled list, as anticipated. After a bout with a sprained right middle finger, McAllister started the second game of the Indians' current three-game series with the Mariners.

In order to add McAllister to the roster, Cleveland optioned reliever C.C. Lee to Triple-A Columbus.

"He's worked so hard, and he's been so diligent," said Indians manager Terry Francona, discussing McAllister on Monday. "We're excited. He's definitely a big part of our future. The fact that he came through this so well, because this wasn't something to mess around with, he did a really good job with it."

McAllister, who is 4-5 with a 3.43 ERA in 11 starts this season, was placed on the disabled list on June 8 after experiencing discomfort in the middle finger on his throwing hand. The right-hander felt the most pain while throwing his curveball, which he did not use at all in his outing on June 2 before being shelved.

McAllister went 4-3 with a 2.89 ERA through nine starts to open the season before running into trouble with the finger. In his two appearances before landing on the DL, he went 0-2 with a 6.52 ERA, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on 17 hits in just 9 2/3 innings.

Last Thursday, McAllister made his final Minor League rehab start for Columbus, logging 6 2/3 shutout innings and throwing all of his pitches without any lingering issues.

McAllister rejoins a starting staff that has been on a roll of late.

Entering Tuesday, the Indians' rotation had gone 5-1 with a Major League-best 1.99 ERA in 72 1/3 innings, dating to July 7. The group has also led the Majors during that span in opponents' batting average (.181) and strikeouts (72).

Lee, who was pitching for the first time in the big leagues, turned in two shutout innings between three appearances for the Indians. Following Monday's game in Seattle, Francona asked Lee for his thoughts on his brief taste of the Majors.

"He said, 'I'm not sure I'm ready,'" Francona said. "I was like, 'Whoa.' He said, 'No, I just mean arm slot, coming back from [right elbow] surgery, being consistent.' I said, 'OK, because I think you can help us.' His stuff was filthy."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.