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Tribe to decide next step for McAllister

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Tribe to decide next step for McAllister

BOSTON -- Members of the Indians coaching staff plan on poring over the video of Zach McAllister's latest rehab outing Sunday night. Come Monday, manager Terry Francona and pitching coach Mickey Callaway will meet with McAllister to hammer out the next step in the pitcher's return.

Right now, Cleveland is weighing multiple things in determining the right direction. The Indians have been impressed with left-hander T.J. House, the team has a pair of off-day's within a four-day span next week and McAllister appeared to make strides in his start for Triple-A Columbus on Saturday.

"I dont know," Callaway said of Cleveland's plan. "T.J.'s throwing the ball well. That's a tough call. A lot of factors will go into that."

McAllister -- on the 15-day disabled list due to a lower-back strain -- logged 64 pitches in four innings on short rest Saturday. The big right-hander allowed no runs on five hits, escaping one bases-loaded jam unscathed and ending with two strikeouts and one walk.

"He had good fastball command from the reports I got," Callaway said. "It sounds like he's in a pretty decent spot."

On the season, McAllister has gone 3-4 with a 5.89 ERA through 10 starts for the Indians. After opening this season 3-0 with a 2.28 ERA through four starts, during which he held opponents to a .655 OPS in 23 2/3 innings, McAllister went 0-4 with a 9.51 ERA in the six starts (.919 opponents' OPS in 23 2/3 innings) leading up to the DL stint.

House, who has filled in admirably for McAllister, turned in 5 1/3 innings in a no-decision against the Red Sox during Saturday's 3-2 win for the Tribe. The lefty struck out three, walks one and now has posted a 4.88 ERA in 27 2/3 innings in six appearances for Cleveland this season.

Both Francona and Callaway have pointed to the pair of off-days (June 23 and 26) that are on either side of a two-game road series against the D-backs. The Indians want to make sure other members of the rotation do not receive too many days off between starts due to that unusual schedule.

"Regardless of where T.J. is," Francona said, "it's nice to know that he's in the organization and that, if you start him, you feel like you can win. That's very heartening. Pitching is hard to find and T.J.'s come a long way."

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.

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