McAllister eager for new opportunities with Tribe

McAllister eager for new opportunities with Tribe

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Zach McAllister finds himself in an odd situation this spring.

Sitting inside the clubhouse at the Indians player development complex, McAllister is 11 lockers away from the stall belonging to outfielder Austin Kearns. Last August, Cleveland acquired McAllister -- a right-handed pitcher -- from the Yankees to complete the July deal that shipped Kearns to the Bronx.

The Indians re-signed Kearns over the offseason.

"It is a little bit weird," McAllister said with a laugh on Saturday. "You don't see that too often where the guy you're traded for is back with you."

During the offseason, the 23-year-old McAllister attended the Indians' winter development program in Cleveland and had the opportunity to introduce himself to Kearns in person. McAllister is hoping to have the chance to join Kearns in Cleveland once again later this summer.

"There's definitely opportunities here," said McAllister, who was selected by the Yankees in the third round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft. "Then again, it's kind of on yourself. If you don't produce, they're not going to give you a chance. I'm definitely excited to be here and I'm looking forward this year."

McAllister is most likely ticketed back to Triple-A Columbus after an up-and-down tour at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season. Overall, the 6-foot-6 righty went 9-12 with a 5.29 ERA over 27 starts, piling up 99 strikeouts and 45 walks over 149 2/3 innings. At Columbus, McAllister went 1-2 with a 6.88 ERA in three outings.

"He's a strike thrower," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "He's got movement on his pitches and he's a big strong kid."