Allen earns final spot in Indians rotation

March 28th, 2021

The Indians’ final position battle has been decided.

After settling on everything with the position players earlier last week, the Indians finalized their pitching staff on Sunday, informing that he’ll be in the rotation. will start the year in the bullpen.

“We informed Logan Allen that he will pitch the fourth game of the season,” president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said before the Indians' 3-3 tie against the Padres at Goodyear Ballpark. “We’re still working through exactly what role that will be, but he will pitch in the fourth game.”

Allen could either start the game or come in after an opener to help manage early season workloads, especially since Cleveland is planning a four-man rotation in the first week or two of the season. Antonetti said that opener could be .

Both McKenzie and Quantrill will begin the first two weeks of the season in the bullpen. When the Indians get to the week of April 11, they finally will need a fifth starter. One of those two will fill that role. The other will remain in the bullpen as a multiple-innings option.

Quantrill started camp as the favorite to round out the Indians rotation, but Allen made a strong push during Spring Training. Last July, Allen switched to a keto diet, and he dropped 35 pounds before camp got underway. He spent the entire winter at the club’s Spring Training facility, working closely with the coaching staff to revamp all of his mechanics. In Cactus League play, he has seen nothing but positive results.

“[Allen has] been one of the highlights of camp for us,” Antonetti said. “He showed up with a great mindset and was ready to go and has been, arguably, one of our most consistent guys throughout the course of the spring. We're excited that he's earned that opportunity to continue that during the regular season and are looking forward to seeing him continue to contribute.”

Consistency key for Zimmer
Now that center field will be handled by Ben Gamel, Jordan Luplow and, eventually, Amed Rosario, and Oscar Mercado will both have time at the alternate training site to get themselves back on the right track.

The Indians have been optimistic that Zimmer still has the same potential he did in his rookie campaign, before. all his injuries. The red flag is the inconsistency he has had at the plate. If he can get into a groove offensively, he could find his way back to the big league roster.

“He came in and was running better than he had in the last year or two,” Antonetti said. “His defensive in center field was good. His work with the coaches was extraordinary. So that gave us optimism.

“I think the key for Bradley will be consistency to his at-bats. If he can maintain those same contributions on the bases and defensively and marry that with consistent at-bats offensively, he's got a chance to be a really productive player. And we're hopeful he'll take advantage of the real-game at-bats he'll have this year, unlike last year, to be able to make progress on that.”

How will the alternate site work? 
The Indians’ alternate site will be in Columbus this season. Each club can carry as many as 28 players at the alternate training site. Five, including at least one catcher, must be on the taxi squad that joins the big league team on road trips.

The Indians are still working through how the COVID-19 vaccination process will go. Gov. Mike DeWine announced this week that anyone over the age of 16 could begin receiving the vaccine on Monday.

“We have a plan for vaccination once we return to Cleveland,” Antonetti said. “We'll try to sequence them around off-days. Our understanding is most of the responses on the first dose are very mild. We'll have to be particularly attentive on the second dose, when it's more likely that there are some side effects. But we're expecting to accomplish that in April.”