Just in case you were holding out any hope that Danny Salazar could reinvent himself a pitcher who somehow survives on a sub-90’s fastball — you can officially extinguish those hopes.
According to reports, the beleaguered pitcher asked for time away following his most recent outing with the Double-A Akron RubberDucks. The Indians, not being absolute monsters, granted him his request and he returned to his home in Tampa, Florida to work with his personal trainer.
Danny Salazar asked the Indians for some time away after his outing at AA the other night. They obliged. He’s returning to his home in Tampa. It’d be the upset of the century if he pitched for the Indians again.— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) September 3, 2019
Further reports indicate that it was yet another injury that led to Salazar asking for time away.
Tito said that the last time Salazar pitched, he came off the mound not feeling physically well enough to go back out for a second inning. He thought he was feeling better later that night, but ended up asking the Indians for some time away from the game. He’s returned to Tampa.— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) September 3, 2019
Salazar’s one — and only — start with the Indians in the last two years was on August 1 against the Astros. An outing in which he threw just four innings, allowed two runs, and struggled to get his fastball to 89 mph. He said after the game he felt discomfort in his groin, and the Indians placed him on the 10-day injured list shortly after. Since then, he’s made three rehab appearances and has just one strikeout in 2.2 innings pitched, compared to three walks and three earned runs.
I don’t believe Zack Meisel isn’t quoting anyone in the tweet above when he says it’d be the “upset of the century” if Salazar pitches for the Indians, but he might as well be. The Indians took a $4.5 million flyer on him this offseason in the hopes that he would return to the dominant force he showed flashes of in the five season prior. That clearly isn’t going to happen, at least not in 2019, and it’d be a pretty hard sell to give it another shot in 2020 given how the last two years have gone.
Salazar was a fun pitcher for the Indians at times, and he had a chance at being an absolute fireballer with a high-90s fastball and one of the filthiest changeups in the game. It’s a shame we’ll never get to see him reach his potential in Cleveland, but as a fan of the game and fan of people achieving their dreams, I hope to see Salazar achieve it somewhere.