What will the Cleveland Indians rotation look like for the 2017 postseason?

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 10: Pitcher Danny Salazar
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 10: Pitcher Danny Salazar /

If Danny Salazar is going to help the Cleveland Indians during the 2017 MLB postseason, chances are it will be out of the bullpen.

Can the Cleveland Indians count on starter Danny Salazar to start in the postseason when October rolls around.

As Cleveland.com’s Paul Hoynes wrote, he just hasn’t been reliable enough.

Fans were praying for Salazar to have Cy Young stuff in his outing against the White Sox Tuesday night. He was returning from a sore elbow which put the hard thrower on the DL on Aug. 20.

Instead of giving the Indians the three innings they would’ve liked, Salazar went just 2/3 of an inning against the worst team in the American League.

If the ALDS started today, Terry Francona would have to go to a rotation of Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer and Danny Salazar.

Kluber’s now the front runner to win the AL Cy Young Award, while since the All-Star break, Bauer’s been the Indians’ second best pitcher. His 15 wins are tied for the AL lead with Chris Sale.

Since the All-Star break, Bauer is 8-1 with a 3.03 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP.. He’s truck out 67 in 59 innings.

If there’s a positive to Salazar’s outing, it’s that he was throwing the ball hard, it’s just that he couldn’t locate his pitches. He added that he lost his release point. He had it in the bullpen during warm ups, but didn’t have it in the game.

He’ll take the mound a few more times with the chance to redeem himself, but even if he pitches decently, how can the Tribe trust him in an important game.

Digging yourself an early hole in the regular season is one thing, but doing it come October is something entirely different.

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Carrasco would likely be the second starter in a three-game series. He was the Indians most consistent first-half pitcher, and while he hasn’t been as good in the second half, he’s still been very effective.

Before the All-Star Game, Carrasco was 10-3 with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP to go along with 114 strikeouts in 104.2 innings pitched. Since the mid-summer classic, he’s 3-3 with a 4.07 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. He has 69 strikeouts in 59 2/3 innings.

In the ALCS, Hoynes wrote that Mike Clevinger and Josh Tomlin should be better choices to throw into the back end of the rotation, rather than just giving the ball to Danny.

Salazar is running out of a time. He already went on that sojourn to the minors that was half rehab from injury, half “hey, do you remember how to pitch?” He came back in August when no one expected anything from him, and pitched like an Ace.

If he’s on point, wow look out, but when do the Indians reach the point of no return with him? He can’t lose his release point before a playoff start.

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He should get three more starts before October. If he’s not appreciably better, the Indians will be better of with him in the bullpen.