One of the most intriguing Cleveland Indians players to watch this offseason will be Danny Salazar, as he continues his seemingly endless recovery journey.
The Cleveland Indians have a pretty loaded rotation. They have their ace Corey Kluber, followed by two guys in Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco who could be aces on any other team. There’s Mike Clevinger who had himself a career year, and the wunderkind, Shane Bieber.
All season this rotation worked wonders for the Tribe. But how soon we forget another important arm on this pitching staff. Danny Salazar, who has been plagued by injuries, is still working his way back to this team.
CBS Sports recently reported that Danny hopes to throw as soon as November, which is a big step for the pitcher. It’s been since late 2017 that Danny Salazar last pitched. How well will he perform at the big league level is the biggest question circling him right now.
So will we see him start for this team again? That’s a tough question, and it has a lot of circumstances revolving it. The first being the most obvious, his healthy. If he isn’t ready once Spring Training rolls around, he likely won’t be starting in the rotation.
We heard in the last offseason that Salazar wouldn’t be ready until halfway through the season. When that time came around, Danny still wasn’t ready and later found himself sidelined for the remainder of the season. The situation felt all too similar to that of Cody Anderson.
Something else that could keep him waiting is performance. If he comes back and isn’t packing the same heat that he once had, the Indians might see fit to keep him in Triple-A. We’ve seen players sit for months in Triple-A before returning to form if it ever happens.
There is also always the chance that the Indians trade him away. With a lot of pieces potentially leaving this Winter, the Indians will have more dire needs than starting pitching. Since they have a starter to spare, Danny Salazar could very well find himself in a different clubhouse.
Lastly, if he does stay on the team, and he is healthy. We could see him in the bullpen. He spent some time there in 2017 and his fastball could give the Indians multiple innings from the ‘pen. Of course, if he is equipped to pitch, the Indians could put him in the rotation and move Shane Beiber to either the bullpen or Triple-A.
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All of this is speculation of course. We’re all still waiting for Salazar to make his triumphant return. Let’s hope that when he returns, we good the Danny Salazar that we all know and love.