4. Make Salazar a reliever
It’s a gamble to even count on Danny Salazar. He hasn’t been healthy since the first half of the 2016 season. But he was so good, he was a shoe-in for the All-Star team.
Since then, he’s battled forearm, elbow and shoulder soreness. He had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder at the end of June and didn’t pitch an inning in 2018.
If he pitches in 2019, it should be out of the bullpen. The Indians will initially build him up as a starter, but a reliever role isn’t out of the question, according to reports.
The Tribe needs relievers and Salazar would be an excellent addition to the pen because of his fastball-slider combination.
While it’s a big leap of faith to even consider Salazar next season, you know the Indians will contemplate it, if he can pitch.
The starting rotation will still be the strength of this team in 2019. The bullpen is what needs rebuilt.
If able, there’s no doubting Salzar would be a welcomed fresh face to the unit.
And he doesn’t cost the Indians anything. He’s arbitration eligible after making $5 million last season. Since he didn’t pitch, he’s not going to be getting a raise. Salazar is under contract through the 2020 campaign.
Hopefully it doesn’t take long for the Indians to move him to the pen. His history shows he’s jus not durable enough to be a starter, whereas he could have a future as a reliever.