Zach McAllister has been out with a lower back strain since Wednesday, May 21. He is making progress in his recovery, but won't quite be ready when he's eligible to return from the DL on Thursday.
McAllister pitched a simulated game Friday afternoon at Progressive Field, hours before the Indians and Rockies faced off. He threw 60 pitches, starting with 30 fastballs before taking a break, and then mixing in his off-speed pitches over the final 30.
"He's obviously feeling healthy. His execution was unbelievable. He felt really comfortable with where he was at. We'll plan on a bullpen session and kind of plan from there. We'll send him out on a rehab if he continues to feel good."
That bullpen session would take place on Monday, and wouldn't involve as many pitches. The rehab start could then take place on Wednesday, five days after yesterday's workout. Single-A Lake County is the only affiliate playing in Ohio that day. If you're in the area, you should know that tickets are only $9, and it's also 10-cent hot dog night (!!!).
If all of that goes well, McAllister would be in position to return to the Indians on Monday, June 9, when they play the last of four games in Arlington against the Rangers.
After a rocky first outing, T.J House did very well in his second start for the Indians, giving up only 1 run in 6.1 innings, while striking out 8. I don't mind seeing him get another turn, but of course it would be nice to have McAllister back, because the more healthy pitchers the better.
McAllister's ERA is an ugly 5.89, but his strikeout rate is up and his FIP is a much better 3.81. His ERA was also a very good 3.18 before his final six innings before landing on the DL. Hopefully when he's recovered he'll get back to pitching the way he did during the season's first five weeks.