Cleveland Indians: Breaking down Zach McAllister’s rough start to 2018

(Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images) /

Zach McAllister has not had a great start to the 2018 season, but the Cleveland Indians reliever hasn’t hurt the team as much as some may think.

Saturday and Sunday were bad days for the entire Cleveland Indians team.

The Indians were outscored 22-8 in that two-day span and the games were rather painful to watch.

One player who had a particularly rough go of it was Zach McAllister, who allowed five earned runs in two total innings over the weekend. His ERA is now an ugly 10.24 on the year in just 9.2 innings of work.

As fans continue to be frustrated, McAllister is a new focus of some angst. This makes sense after his last two outings, but his season is not as bad as the numbers may show.

McAllister has made 12 appearances this season. He has allowed at least one earned run in five appearances, but four of the five times occurred when the Indians lost by at least six runs. His runs allowed only made a true difference in one game, when the Indians lost 3-2 to the Angels on April 4. McAllister allowed one earned run that game.

It is fair to argue that McAllister coming in and allowing three or four runs in a blowout demoralizes the offense and puts the game out of reach. My point is that he is not out there blowing leads and hurting this team. If anything, he is eating up innings in blowouts or when the offense just doesn’t have anything going.

McAllister is often out there to bail out a starter as opposed to being relied upon late in a game. With his experience, and the fact it is only the end of April, his name should not come up as someone who should be replaced.

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The absence of Andrew Miller is glaring, but fans must not forget that there will be some hiccups when he is out. That doesn’t mean the front office shouldn’t consider options both in free agency and via the minors, but there should be no panic surrounding the bullpen just yet.