Even if the Cleveland Indians decide not to trade to acquire additional pitching at the trade deadline, they might have an impact starting pitcher able to help them later this year: RHP Danny Salazar, pitching with the AAA Columbus Clippers.
Salazar tossed a quality start last night for the Clip Show, allowing three runs (two earned), seven hits and striking out seven in six innings in a 3-2 loss against the Buffalo Bisons in Buffalo. Columbus and Buffalo only played seven innings, so Salazar technically pitched a complete game.
— Scott Leo (@Scott_Leo) June 26, 2014
Salazar’s overall numbers in his six AAA starts are a mixed bag, at best, but there have certainly been other signs of encouragement. In four of his past five starts, he’s pitched at least 5 innings (pitched 4.2 innings on May 30), and he’s still striking out batters, with 35 total. He’s only walked 13 batters at AAA this year, which is great, but he has allowed 38 hits in 28.2 IP. Salazar was demoted to the minors in mid-May after a short (4 IP) outing against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 15, and had pitched five innings or fewer in five of his eight Major-League starts.
The Indians have already scratched RHP Justin Masterson from his scheduled start on Sunday, but the team has not announced who will replace him for the start, or if Masterson will have to go on the disabled list. It seems unlikely Salazar would get the spot start, as he still has some things worth working on in the minors, but if Masterson has to miss an extended amount of time, don’t rule out Cleveland calling up Salazar, and hoping he can provide the Indians quality starts at the major league level.