CLEVELAND: Zach McAllister threw his third bullpen session Friday and had no ill effect, which means he will enter the next phase of his recovery from a strained finger on his right hand.
“He threw 30 pitches, sat down and threw 30 more,” manager Terry Francona said. “He threw fastballs, cutters and splits. Monday, he will throw a simulated game. We’ll bring in some guys from Lake County for that.”
When will McAllister throw a curveball, the pitch that apparently aggravated the condition?
“Rather than set a date, it will depend on how he’s doing,” Francona said. “But he’s doing terrific right now.”
McAllister will have to go on a short rehab assignment to regain his command and rebuild his arm strength, probably shortly after the All-Star break.
“I think that’s a distinct possibility,” Francona said. “It will come down to what is in his best interest, not just in the short term but in the long term.”
HOW BIG? — Certainly for the fans, the Indians’ ongoing four-game set with the Tigers is a big deal. But in the larger scheme of things, how important is it?
“We’ve got to beat everybody,” Francona said. “We can’t just beat one team; that’s why every series is big. We don’t want to get caught up in one series. This one will be fun. But they’re all important.”
FARM FACTS — Erik Gonzalez homered, singled twice and drove in three runs in Lake County’s 13-0 win over Lansing in Class A. Todd Hankins had two hits and three RBI, and Ryan Merritt (5-8, 3.73 ERA) delivered seven scoreless innings, giving up five hits. … Cody Ferrell and Juan Romero both homered in Mahoning Valley’s 11-6 loss to Williamsport in Class A. … Kieran Lovegrove (1-0, 1.93 ERA) threw five scoreless innings, allowing two hits, as the Arizona League Indians defeated the Royals 9-0. Clint Frazier tripled, singled and drove in one run.
— Sheldon Ocker