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McAllister might rejoin Tribe following rehab start

ARLINGTON -- Sidelined starter Zach McAllister is scheduled to make one more Minor League rehab start before potentially rejoining the Indians' rotation.

On Sunday, Cleveland manager Terry Francona indicated that McAllister -- on the 15-day disabled list due to a lower back strain -- is slated to pitch for Triple-A Columbus on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C. If everything goes according to plan, McAllister would then meet up with the Indians on Thursday, when the team opens a four-game series in Boston.

"We'll see how he's feeling and how he's doing, for sure," Francona said on Sunday. "We spent some time this morning talking to him just about going down to this game and kind of using it like a competitive Major League game."

McAllister made his first Minor League rehab start with Class A Lake County this past Thursday, allowing three runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. The Indians wanted to have him face higher-level hitters prior to potentially being slotted back into the Major League rotation.

"I think he felt really good about himself physically and everything, so that was good," Francona said. "At Lake County, that's OK. But as you get geared up to get back up here, it's nice to see a little better competition."

On the season, McAllister has gone 3-4 with a 5.89 ERA through 10 starts for the Indians, who saw the right-hander go 9-9 with a 3.75 ERA in 24 starts in 2013. 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.

When McAllister is cleared to be activated by the Tribe, lefty T.J. House might be the odd-man out in the rotation. House, who is scheduled to start against the Rangers on Monday, has posted a 3.79 ERA in four appearances (three starts) this season for Cleveland.

"Regardless of what happens, T.J. has pitched himself into what we're doing," Francona said. "I think T.J. is a pretty mature kid and he listens when you talk. If he stays here, we view him as helping us. If he has to go back to Triple-A, I think he's smart enough to know that he still has some development. He also knows what it takes to help here, which I think can be huge."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.
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