Kazmir, McAllister switch rotation spots

Kazmir, McAllister switch rotation spots

Kazmir, McAllister switch rotation spots

CLEVELAND -- When they can, the Indians will almost always give left-hander Scott Kazmir an extra day of rest. Cleveland is trying to balance both its competitive position and the pitcher's incredible comeback back into the game.

"I think he feels like he's been pitching for two straight years," Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway said. "He's a little tired, so we want to just give him an extra day when we can."

On Friday, the Indians announced that Kazmir and right-hander Zach McAllister are switching spots in the rotation. McAllister will start against the Twins on Saturday and Kazmir will take the mound on Sunday, as opposed to the other way around.

That will give Kazmir six days of rest between starts. McAllister, who is 6-7 with a 3.59 ERA in 17 starts this season, will be pitching on regular rest.

"With Kaz," Indians manager Terry Francona said, "we're trying to space it out where we keep Kaz all year pitching at a level where we can win. So any time we can buy him a day or two, we're trying to do that. It just makes sense."

Kazmir -- signed to a Minor League contract over the offseason -- has gone 7-6 with a 4.39 ERA through 22 starts this season, piling up 107 strikeouts in 119 innings. He has gone 1-2 with a 6.63 ERA over his past four starts, which include 10 runs allowed in his past eight innings.

Over the past two years, Kazmir has logged just 103 2/3 innings combined between the Majors, Minors, Independent League and winter ball.

"He's done a good job with it," said Francona, referring to Kazmir's comeback. "His arm is fine. I think his body feels a little beat up, so buying an extra day or two I think can help a bunch. He's done a terrific job. It's pretty remarkable, considering where he was to what he's doing."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.