After missing some time due to a tricep strain in his pitching arm, Danny Salazar returned to the Columbus Clippers rotation on Sunday at Huntington Park in Columbus. The 24-year-old right-hander tossed five innings, allowing two runs (both earned), while giving up four hits and one walk, and striking out four. It was Salazar’s first win since his demotion to Triple-A (1-3).
From the results, there remain some concerns. Salazar gave up a home run to Corbin Joseph (his first of the year), in the third inning, and that makes 12 home runs allowed in 12 starts between the majors and Triple-A in 2014 in just 58.1 innings pitched. When Salazar’s fastball goes flat, even with tremendous velocity, it gets hammered. While that is one thing to frown upon, the five innings is quite encouraging. That doesn’t seem all that impressive on the surface, but: 1) he was on a pitch count due to returning from an arm injury, and 2) he only needed 69 pitches to get his 15 outs, 46 of those for strikes.
After Salazar posted such eye-popping numbers in the minors in 2013, it is hard to get too excited about a five inning start with two runs allowed, but Salazar is still a huge part of the Cleveland Indians’ future. If he gets back on the right track, the Indians can promote an effective, efficient Salazar and won’t feel a need to deal pieces of their future foundation for a mid-season rental for a playoff push.
Danny Salazar’s night is done. His Line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 69 pitches (46 strikes). #ClipShow
— Columbus Clippers (@CLBClippers) June 15, 2014