Tribe Should Call On McAllister Over Salazar

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Indians RHP Justin Masterson has been placed on the D.L. for the first time in his career. Masterson, reportedly has been battling through a sore right knee since his second start of the season. He was unable to endure through his ailment in his last start and it became clear that something needed to be done.  Masterson, who will be on the 15 day D.L. until July 23,recently said that his stint in the bullpen at the end of last year may have created some bad habits in his delivery and they carried over into this season.

The Indians starting rotation as it stands right now only has one opening day member in Corey Kluber. However, the Tribe will need to recall either Zach McAllister or Danny Salazar for a start on Saturday followed by a day-night double header start against the Tigers on July 19th.  Both McAllister and Salazar have been in AAA Columbus for an extended period of time now.

McAllister is 5-0 with 2.23 ERA in six starts with the AAA Clippers while, Salazar is 3-5 with a 4.38 ERA in eight starts in AAA. They both made their last major league starts in mid-May.  Indians Manager Terry Francona commented on this situation saying “John Mirabelli watched Danny’s last start and said he looked like he did for us last year…..Zach is pitching well, too.”

Up until McAllister’s latest implosion, he had provided a steadiness and consistency that is very much needed in the Indians rotation. Salazar on the other hand is the future. He displayed a high 90’s fastball along with an exceptional change up when he has it working. At the end of last season, Salazar was impressive and the Indians had big expectations for him in 2014. The assumption of Salazar’s maturation was proven untimely, as he was underwhelming in his time with Indians thus far this season. The hope is that, he can find his command and get back to being the dominant presence we saw in 2013.

Whether or not Salazar has adapted his game and is primed for a return is yet to be determined and probably won’t be until he gets his next shot. The truth is that the Tribe can’t afford a risk like that right now. McAllister’s steady performance in AAA along with the fact that he is a more seasoned pitcher will most likely earn him the call this time around. The Indians need pitchers who can keep in them in games and give them a chance to win night in and night out. McAllister was precisely that before his recent demotion. They cannot afford the potentially drastic contrast in outcomes that could accompany a Salazar return at this point. McAllister should get the call at this point and hopefully he can return to the winning ways he displayed in 2013 and at the start of 2014.

By: Brad Ward

Follow @CST_BradWard on Twitter

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