Cleveland Indians pitcher Danny Salazar is unlikely to return for the regular season, according to estimates following an MRI Monday afternoon. The 26-year-old was diagnosed with a mild strain to his flexor muscle and will not be able to throw for 10 days. He is expected to return to game action in 3-4 weeks.
An update on RHP Danny Salazar: pic.twitter.com/kAyzJFYjrb— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) September 12, 2016
According to beat reporter Jordan Bastian, Salazar is expected to undergo a PRP injection tomorrow.
Salazar’s injury problems began around midseason when he was forced to skip his appearance in the All-Star game due to elbow fatigue. He had an awful month of August, allowing 17 runs in 12.1 innings, but he looked to be back to his normal self in September with two solid starts. His last outing against the Minnesota Twins, however, was once again cut short after 4.2 innings due to the lingering injury.
With Salazar out of the picture, Trevor Bauer moves up to the third spot in the rotation, which means he could see a lot of action in the playoffs. The Indians have been hesitant to commit Mike Clevinger to a spot in the rotation, but this may force their hand. Another option could be Ryan Merritt, who was promoted to the majors following the end of the Triple-A Columbus Clippers’ season.
The Indians regular season concludes on October 2nd with a game against the Kansas City Royals. Assuming they are not forced to take part in the Wild Card, the Indians would resume play in the American League Division Series on October 6. The earliest the Indians would probably want Salazar in the playoffs would be game three of the ALDS on October 9. That would be right in-line with Salazar’s timetable, assuming nothing goes wrong between now and then.