McAllister works on fielding after costly error

McAllister works on fielding after costly error

CLEVELAND -- Zach McAllister was on the mound at Progressive Field several hours before Tuesday's games, working on fielding drills with Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway one day after making a costly error. This was not punishment for the right-handed pitcher.

"He actually went to Mickey, so that was a good thing," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "When guys don't do things right, and then come and want to make it better, that's a really good thing."

In the seventh inning of Cleveland's 10-8 loss to the Rangers on Monday, McAllister gloved a routine chopper off the bat of Texas' Josh Hamilton and then made a wild throw beyond first base. The ill-timed gaffe allowed the go-ahead run to score for the Rangers, who held on to take the opener in this three-game series with the Indians.

It was the second error in the inning -- lefty Marc Rzepczynski made a throwing error on a pick-off attempt earlier in the frame -- and the latest example of the defensive issues the Tribe's pitching staff has dealt with this year. Entering Tuesday, the Indians' pitching staff ranked last in the American League and 29th in the Majors with minus-11 Defensive Runs Saved.

"We've thrown a number of balls away. That's what it is," Francona said. "That's one of the harder things to work on at full speed, because you're watching guys throw and you're trying to pick [your spots]. ... Do we want to do it better? Do we need to do it better? Yeah."

Francona said the Indians worked to find the most opportune times to have their pitchers work on defense during Spring Training, and the manager said he believes the Tribe does fielding practice for pitchers more than most teams during the preseason. Cleveland has continued to identify good days to to work in extra defense during the season.

Prior to Tuesday's game, the Indians did some added infield drills, along with pitchers' fielding practice for more than just McAllister.

"That was scheduled two days ago," Francona said. "We messed some plays up [on Monday], but it's never a reaction. We just try to, on days we think it makes sense, to kind of touch up on fundamentals. And then Zach went out with Mickey a little earlier just to work on continuing to move his feet, kind of staying in that athletic position."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.