Here’s a few stats that made me smile this morning:
- The Indians are 7-3 over their last ten games and have continued to play solid baseball.
- They are three games up in the AL Central.
- Danny Salazar’s fastball stayed in the high-90’s in yesterday outing, making a major shoulder issue seem less likely.
Here’s hoping for another strong week from the Tribe with plenty to make us smile about!
Indians 8, Angels 3
Carlos Santana blasted two home runs, with Francisco Lindor adding one himself in the Tribe's victory Sunday over the Angels. Salazar wasn’t amazing, but worked out of some jams and ended up striking out eight. With the win, the Indians improved to 35-27.
The right-hander is 7-3 with a sizzling 2.19 ERA through 74 innings. That ERA is second among starting pitchers in the AL, but it’s not an open and shut case. From Zack Meisel:
While Salazar has proven nearly impossible to hit -- some of his teammates fawn over the drop on his splitter -- he has struggled with his command at certain junctures this season.
Salazar has registered the third-highest walk rate (4.5 per nine innings) among AL starting pitchers. That has contributed to high pitch counts, which explain why he has failed to complete six innings in five of his 12 starts.
Salazar owns the highest rate of runners left on base in the AL. He has stranded 85.9 percent of runners this season. That statistic, however, tends to regress to the mean (closer to 70-72 percent, per FanGraphs). Salazar has occasionally played with fire this season. A dip in his walk rate might help his cause.
Of course, this is more nitpicking than zeroing in on some pressing concern. Salazar has been more than adequate.
If not Shaw, then who? ZMac? Tommy Hunter? Jeff Manship?
Major League Ouch.