Danny Salazar Continues to Struggle for the Cleveland Indians
Another day, another rough outing for Danny Salazar. The Cleveland Indians’ young right hander surrendered seven runs on six hits and over the course of 3.1 sub-par innings of work. With the loss, his record for the spring fell to 1-2 while his ERA ballooned to an astonishing 8.18. In the battle for the fifth and final spot in the starting rotation, Salazar has to be losing ground.
His troubles startled early and often on Thursday. In the top of the first, the Reds’ star third baseman Todd Frazier tagged him for a solo home run to left field. Despite the mistake, Salazar was able to escape the inning without allowing any more damage to occur. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t carry over into the second inning.
After scoring a run of their own thanks to a Carlos Santana sac fly, Salazar took the mound for the Indians with the score tied at 1-1. It didn’t last long. Devin Mesoraco led things off with a solo homer to put the Reds back up 2-1. Two of the next four batters faced reached on a single and hit by pitch, respectively. A double by the speedy center fielder Billy Hamilton and a single by former MVP Joey Votto pushed the Reds lead to 5-1.
In the top of the fourth, Salazar wouldn’t fare much better. He was pulled from the game with one out and two runners on base in favor of left hander Marc Rzepczynski. All Scrabble did was push the sixth and seven runs across the plate on a passed ball and ground out by Joey Votto.
The Reds eventually added six more security runs in the eighth and ninth innings, but by that point the game was well out of hand.
Meanwhile, the two runs scored by the Indians served as bookends for Thursday’s game. The first crossed the plate in the bottom of the second on the aforementioned sac fly by Santana. The second run scored in the bottom of the ninth on a ground out by Joe Sever. Needless to say, this was not the most impressive day we have seen out of the Indians offensively this spring. They did manage to put together eight hits, two of which came off the bat of Michael Bourn, but they could never quite put a rally together.
As for Salazar, his bad outing on Thursday continues what has been a less than impressive spring audition. It is growing less and less likely he will begin the season in Cleveland as a member of the starting rotation. If I had to guess, Zach McAllister seems like a more likely candidate given his performance and his lack of minor league options. Salazar will make a contribution at some point this season, but it may not come right away.