CLEVELAND -- Zach McAllister will be back with the Tribe this weekend.
On Wednesday, Indians manager Terry Francona announced that the right-hander will be called up from Triple-A Columbus to start Saturday's tilt with the White Sox. McAllister will assume the spot vacated by Justin Masterson, who landed on the 15-day disabled list with right knee inflammation on Tuesday.
Francona said he has been encouraged by the reports on McAllister from Columbus, where he has gone 5-0 with a 2.23 ERA in six starts. He has registered 34 strikeouts to just seven walks in 36 1/3 innings.
"I think for the most part [the reports] have been all positive," Francona said. "I don't necessarily think it's been the easiest thing for Zach. He wants to be here. But I think he's done a really good job of not letting that affect his pitching. When that's what you ask a guy to do, sometimes it's harder to do than just saying it."
McAllister struggled for the Tribe earlier this season, posting a 5.89 ERA while walking 19 in 47 1/3 innings before landing on the DL with back soreness. The team planned on having him rejoin the rotation on June 18, but that game was rained out and the club opted to recall lefty T.J. House when a fifth starter was needed two weeks later.
"And we explained that to him," Francona said. "We certainly want to and do care about our guys. Saying that, you have to do what's right for the team. You try to send that message in a way that players understand it."
Francona noted that the decision to go with McAllister was made easier by the fact that the 26-year-old was already on the same pitching schedule as Masterson. However, the Indians have also liked what they have seen out of Danny Salazar, who has been with Columbus since May after enduring mechanical problems of his own.
Between his past two Minor League starts, Salazar owns a 3.38 ERA and 18 strikeouts.
"His last two outings have been really, really good," Francona said. "His last outing was almost reminiscent of the guy we called up last year. That's really good to see."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less