The Cleveland Indians made an aggressive move in July 2013 by calling up young SP Danny Salazar, and he responded by giving the team a tantalizing glimpse of his potential. Today, the Indians have made another aggressive move, demoting the struggling Salazar to AAA Columbus following a loss in Toronto against the Blue Jays and adding LHP Kyle Crockett from AA Akron to the big-league club.
Indians have optioned RHP Danny Salazar to AAA Columbus. LH reliever Kyle Crockett up from AA Akron. More soon on http://t.co/eC6SXBHEy8.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) May 16, 2014
You’d be forgiven if you were unaware of Crockett, as he was drafted by the Indians last June in the fourth round of the amateur draft. The lefty has rocketed through the Indians’ system, and will get his first taste of the major leagues less than a year after being drafted. This wouldn’t be the first time the Indians have been hyper-aggressive with a draft pick in recent memory, either; Cody Allen made his major-league debut in July 2012, little more than a year after being drafted. Crockett has been especially effective, only allowing two earned runs in his entire professional career (slightly more than 40 IP, but still quite impressive).
Wahoo’s on First Editor Kyle Downing took notice of Crockett not more than 10 days ago, and wondered how long the Indians could continue to ignore Crockett. Kyle wrote then:
What I’m wondering is how long the Tribe can wait before promoting him to the big leagues. The bullpen is pretty solid right now, but Crockett could be a huge upgrade over C.C. Lee, and should definitely be given consideration if Carlos Carrasco struggles in the pen. Yes, he’s never pitched above the AA level, but this kind of dominance his difficult to ignore.
As for Salazar, his 2014 can so far be fairly described as “disappointing.” Through eight starts, he has a 5.53 ERA in 40.2 IP. He’s struck out 47, but allowed eight home runs this year, one more than his 2013 total. Salazar is by no means a lost case, and the demotion could possibly just be a bump in the road for the 24-year-old righty, but the Indians will likely try to have Salazar focus on getting deeper into games and utilizing all three of his pitches.