CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Danny Salazar is making progress with his strained right forearm at the team’s Spring Training facility in Goodyear, Arizona, but it very well might not be fast enough for him to pitch in the American League Championship Series against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Speaking with the media prior to Wednesday’s team workout at Progressive Field, Indians manager Terry Francona expressed doubt that Salazar would be ready to throw in the ALCS after missing the latter part of the regular season and the three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox in the American League Division Series.
“I don’t think he’s progressed quite to the point,” Francona said. “He’s just not back. He’s doing pretty good. He’s just not back where he’s throwing all of his pitches or he’s letting it go, 100 percent, but I think if we asked him to do that, he might be reaching right now. We’ve been pretty vocal about the first priority is getting him back healthy. I think this proves it. We wouldn’t do that to somebody.”
Salazar was sent to the Indians’ facility in Goodyear before the start of the ALDS to continue working his way back from a right arm strain that was the latest in a string of arm issues that short-circuited his All-Star season.
On Monday, September 12, the Indians announced that Salazar would miss three to four weeks because of the arm strain.
Salazar underwent an MRI in Cleveland, and following further analysis by team physician Dr. Mark Schickendantz, he was diagnosed with a mild strain to his flexor musculature in his right arm. However, his UCL (ulnar collateral ligament) reconstruction from a previous Tommy John Surgery remained intact.
According to the release announcing the diagnosis, Salazar received a PRP injection and could not throw for approximately 10 days.
An American League All-Star after starting the season with a 10-3 record and 2.75 earned run average in 17 starts, Salazar struggled since first experiencing elbow discomfort in July, which kept him out of the Midsummer Classic.
Following a return from the All-Star break and a stint on the disabled list in August, Salazar went 1-3 with a 7.44 ERA in eight starts. Over 32.2 innings of work, Salazar allowed 44 hits, 29 runs, 27 of which were earned, and seven home runs with 17 walks against 43 strikeouts.
During the regular season, Salazar compiled an 11-6 record with a 3.87 earned run average over 137.1 innings pitched in 25 starts. He registered 161 strikeouts against 63 walks, and had a 1.34 WHIP (Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched).