BOSTON -- The Indians plan on having right-hander Zach McAllister make one more Minor League rehab start before potentially rejoining the Major League rotation.
Prior to Thursday's game against the Red Sox, Cleveland manager Terry Francona noted that McAllister is scheduled to log 65 pitches in an outing with Triple-A Columbus on Saturday. That puts McAllister in line with lefty T.J. House, who took over for the sidelined righty and is slated to start for the Tribe on Saturday in Boston.
McAllister is currently on the 15-day disabled list due to a lower back injury.
"We have some things to think about moving forward," Francona said. "We tried to explain to Zach that, 'Hey, go do your thing, because we're juggling multiple things, but not to worry about that. Go concentrate on pitching like you can pitch and let us take care of those other things.'"
Francona said the team felt House, who has posted a 5.24 ERA in 22 1/3 innings this season, deserved another start. The manager was also quick to note that the Indians have a pair of off-days (June 23 and June 26) on either side of a two-game Interleague road series against the D-backs. Cleveland will need to shuffle its rotation that week to keep other starters from having too many days off between outings.
On the season, McAllister is 3-4 with a 5.89 ERA through 10 starts. 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.
In a Minor League rehab outing with Columbus on Tuesday, McAllister allowed two runs (each on a solo home run) on three hits in six innings. The big right-hander struck out six and walked two in the outing.
"I was really happy with it," McAllister said. "I put my fastball where I wanted to, pitched down in the zone and was able to get a lot of soft contact and some broken bats. That's the main thing any time you're pitching, to pitch down in the zone and put the ball where you need to."
Despite hot stretch, Chisenhall given night off
BOSTON -- One of Lonnie Chisenhall's bats is off to Cooperstown. The other one that the Indians' third baseman brought on the current road trip will stay in the bat rack for at least the start of Thursday's game against the Red Sox.
Manager Terry Francona opted to give the hot-hitting Chisenhall a day off from starting in the opener of this four-game series at Fenway Park. With tough lefty Jon Lester on the hill for Boston, it was an opportune time to give the young third baseman a break.
It was not easy for Francona to not write Chisenhall's name in the lineup.
"I almost did," Francona said. "Lonnie's played a lot lately. Having him sitting over here ready to pinch-hit isn't bad, either. I just kind of wanted to have some balance in our lineup with Lester."
Chisenhall's last full day off was on May 17 -- a stretch of 23 straight games. In that span, Chisenhall hit at a .434 clip with seven homers, eight doubles, 18 runs scored and 28 RBIs, entering Thursday. He had a .451 average and 1.260 OPS in his past 26 games, entering Thursday.
In Monday's 17-7 rout over the Rangers, Chisenhall became the first Major League player (at least since the RBI became an official statistic in 1920) to have at least three home runs, five hits and nine RBIs without recording an out in one game. After that historic performance, the Hall of Fame was granted permission to collect the bat Chisenhall used that night.
With Chisenhall out of the starting lineup, Francona went with right-handed-hitting Mike Aviles, who has fought soreness with the great toe on his right foot in recent days. Aviles had a .182 (2-for-11) career average against Lester, while Chisenhall (hitting .500 in 28 at-bats against lefties this year) had never faced the Boston starter.
On the season, Chisenhall headed into Thursday's action batting .393 with 1.057 OPS in 53 games. Even so, Francona felt the third baseman could use a break.
"I think it'll be good for him," Francona said.
Quote to note
"The ballpark. Nothing changes. I like to get to the ballpark and I like to get here early. [The clubhouse chef] has got good enough food. That's where I'm comfortable. I didn't [go out] when I was here. I was always at the ballpark."
-- Francona, when asked if there was any place in particular in Boston he planned on visiting this weekend
• With catchers Yan Gomes and George Kottaras on the roster, Carlos Santana can stick to paying first and third base, along with some designated-hitter duties, for now. Santana (Cleveland's usual backup catcher) recently came back from a concussion, which was the second he has suffered in his career.
Francona said Santana is still willing to catch.
"There's no fear," Francona said. "I think we've talked about it out of concern and trying to keep him healthy and productive, but he's assured us he'll do whatever we ask, which we appreciate. We have talked about it. We want to do the right thing, for sure."
• The Indians signed six players selected in this month's First-Year Player Draft on Thursday, bringing the team's total to 10 of 42 players selected. The recent signees included catcher/infielder Simeon Lucas (seventh round), outfielder Taylor Murphy (18th), righty Jordan Carter (22nd), lefty David Speer (27th), infielder Nathan Winfrey (28th) and infielder Drake Roberts (29th).
• No. 4 prospect Tyler Naquin (selected by the Tribe in the first round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft) extended his hitting streak with Double-A Akron to 14 games on Wednesday. Naquin has hit safely in 22 of his past 23 games and has hit .475 (28-for-59) during the 14-game streak.