The future of Cleveland Indians pitcher Danny Salazar needs to be reviewed to best help the team.
With an abundance of right-handed pitching including more to come in the Cleveland Indians‘ farm system headlined by Triston McKenzie, there is room to make necessary changes as needed.
Given what Cleveland has to work with in terms of depth and options for both the bullpen and as starters, something got to give. One player worth looking into their future in Cleveland is Danny Salazar.
Salazar missed nearly two months of the Tribe’s 2017 campaign and now he has experienced a setback in 2018.
MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian posted a statement from manager Terry Francona on the veteran righty’s status:
Well, we can say goodbye to the 10-day disabled list Salazar is on. Signed through this year for $5 million, Salazar is worth it… when healthy.
The problem now with this latest news is that we don’t know when he will be ready to go. While it says for the next month, will he be ready then? Time will tell. After all, Salazar was initially listed on a short stint version of the D.L., to begin with.
Salazar, a 2016 all-star, threw just 103 innings last season. Going into his sixth season, Salazar has thrown 587 1/3 innings in his career. In that time, he has earned a 38-33 record, 3.82 ERA, and a 1.263 WHIP.
Cleveland’s plan to keep him on the throwing program is the right move. Once he is cleared, how Salazar’s outings go early on and into June and July will be critical regardless of the role.
The concern though is will he reinjure his shoulder? Salazar could have been and maybe still is seen as a viable option to replace Cody Allen or Andrew Miller once their contracts end. However, Salazar doesn’t help his case staying with the team long-term if he gets hurt again.
If Salazar gets back to form and remain healthy throughout the season then that’s great. That would be the ideal outcome. Should Salazar struggle a bit and may just miss a start or two, assuming his overall body of work is still good, then that also favors him.
On the other hand, if his body of work is not good and goes on the Indians’ 15 day D.L. either multiple times or especially on the 30 day, then Cleveland has their answer. Should his body of work be okay or maybe good but cannot stay healthy, then it’s hard to imagine the Indians giving Salazar a long-term contract with the depth and options they have.
At the end of the day, his future beyond this season’s trade deadline will be contigent on what he does before it. Therefore, everyone can only sit, wait, and see how Salazar’s season goes.