Cardinals Pick Up Right-Handed Pitcher Zach McAllister

photo: Zach McAllister ( via Wikipedia)

The St. Louis Cardinals continue to add pitching depth post-lockout with a journeyman right-handed reliever on a minor league contract with a non-roster invitation to big-league camp.

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today (Tuesday, March 15) that they have signed RHP Zach McAllister to a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training.

McAllister, 34, last pitched in the Major Leagues in 2018 for Cleveland and Detroit.  The 6-foot-6 right-hander was a 2006 third round selection by the New York Yankees out of Illinois Valley Central High School in Chillicothe, Ill.  He made his Major League debut for Cleveland in 2011, and went on to appear in 280 career games with 68 starts.

Zach McAllister

Over eight Major League seasons, he posted career marks of 29-35 with a 4.09 ERA striking out 542 batters in 591.2 innings.  After starting 65 of 72 games in his first four seasons, he has appeared in relief 211 times from 2015-18.

Between starting and relieving, McAllister is 18-26 with a 4.56 ERA in his 68 starts and 11-9 with a 3.38 ERA and one save in 212 career relief appearances.

In 2021, McAllister was signed by the Phillies organization in August and made appearances at the Florida Complex League in Clearwater then at Triple-A Lehigh Valley before a September release.  He compiled a 1-1 record with a 4.22 ERA over 11 appearances with two starts.

McAllister will wear No. 66.

Brian Walton’s take

McAllister is the third free agent pitcher signed by the Cardinals since the lockout ended, but the first without a 40-man roster spot attached (after Drew VerHagen and Nick Wittgren). The journeyman appears to be a long shot to make the St. Louis roster out of spring camp, with a likely role as a depth reliever at Triple-A.

In the majors, McAllister has pitched only for Cleveland and Detroit (briefly), but not since 2018. He has been in the minor league systems of the Yankees, Rangers, Dodgers (twice) and Phillies over the last decade-plus.

Per our updated Roster Matrix, the addition of McAllister brings the tentative Memphis roster up to 35 players against an expected Opening Day limit of 28. The Triple-A ranks could potentially grow even higher considering the 28 (against 26 allowed) currently listed with St. Louis.

With the spring camp numbers up to 60, watching the roster dynamics this month should prove to be interesting.

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