Cleveland Indians: Danny Salazar Performing Like The Ace of the Staff


Salazar emerging as the Tribe’s No. 1

Everyone makes mistakes. Even the brightest will make a poor decision. The Cleveland Indians may have done just that when they decided

Danny Salazar

wasn’t worthy of an Opening Day roster spot. So, on to Triple-A Columbus he went. The thing is, when you make a mistake, don’t wait too long to fix it. And the Indians didn’t it, and it’s a good thing too.

A staff that was supposed to be the strength of this team has been anything but. The starters have struggled, including defending AL Cy Young Corey Kluber. It’s gotten so bad they turned to soft-tossing Bruce Chen to fill the fifth spot in the rotation. Needless to say, that didn’t go very well. when your team is struggling, you look to you staff ace to be the streak stopper. It hasn’t been Kluber. It’s been Salazar.

Since being recalled, Salazar is 4-1 with a 3.27 ERA. He could very easily be 5-0, but that’s neither her nor there. The fact is Salazar has been the ace of this staff, as his results are matching the quality of his raw talent. There have been questions about his control, which was a big reason for his omission from the rotation to open the season. But whatever he learned in that short time in Columbus, he needs to share it with the rest of the staff.

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Since his return, Salazar has posted a K/9IP of 13.1, higher than his already impressive career average of 10.8. Of starters through age 25, that ranks at the top. Yu Darvish was 10.4, Stephen Strasburg and Jose Fernandez at 10.3, and Tim Lincecum at 10.2. That’s not bad company to be in. And his strikeout to walk ratio so far this season in 33 innings? An astounding 45/8.

It’s a small sample, as we can’t get too high on Salazar in the same way we can’t get too down on Kluber. Things can change in an instant. But Salazar’s emergence as the ace early on is encouraging as the Tribe hope to turn their fortunes around before it’s too late. The search for a reliable No. 5 starter will be a hot topic, as it’s possible that Shaun Marcum may get yet another chance. 

Next: In Hindsight: A Healthy Marcum Can Add Depth