Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona announced today that Danny Salazar is moving to relief duties. This comes on the heels of a five-walk, six-hit outing in five and one-third innings in a loss against the Royals Saturday.
From Terry today: Danny Salazar will throw a bullpen tomorrow and be available in relief, most likely beginning Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/89IBkj9EnU— #VoteTribe 5x a day (@Indians) May 28, 2017
It’s not as if this past outing is the only reason; discussion of moving Salazar to the ‘pen sizzled through social media and fan chatter since the beginning of the season. Despite his all-star start to last year, Salazar’s line to begin this season is anything but that caliber. He owns a 5.50 ERA, with a FIP of 4.67 and nearly five walks per nine. His home run per nine rate is up to 1.89. Perhaps most concerning is that Salazar has thrown only 51 innings in nine starts. The Indians deploy one of the best bullpens in baseball, but continues to rely on it starting in the middle of games. Salazar now adds depth to this squad.
As for the starting rotation, Corey Kluber is slated to return on Thursday, returning to ace duty. Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, Josh Tomlin, and Mike Clevinger are likely to round out the starting force behind him.