CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Indians pitcher Danny Salazar has been unable to play since suffering a right forearm strain after a September 9th start against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field, but his time away from the team has come to an end.
Despite being on the sideline for more than six weeks and missing both the American League Division and Championship series while working out in Arizona to get his health back, Salazar will be on the World Series roster when the Indians take the field against the Chicago Cubs for the Fall Classic, which gets underway at Progressive Field tonight.
“Danny threw last night, and he threw three innings and under those circumstances, it's not the easiest to probably reach your best velocity, but he was getting after it pretty good,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
“We've talked about using three starters. Then, after the third game, we'd kind of see where we are. We have Merritt, we have Danny. Neither one would pitch a full game, but between those two, you know especially with Danny, it gives you a guy that made the All-Star team that we could pitch really whenever we want. It's another really good arm that's kind of a wild card that we think could help us.”
Prior to the ALDS against the Boston Red Sox, Salazar was sent to the Indians’ spring-training facility in Goodyear, Arizona, to continue working his way back from the strain that was the latest in a string of arm injuries 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.
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.
On the season, Salazar holds an 11-6 record with a 3.87 earned run average over 137.1 innings pitched in 25 starts. He has 161 strikeouts against 63 walks, and a 1.34 WHIP (Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched).
“That's a huge weapon,” Indians starter Corey Kluber said. “The guy was an All-Star. He's got unbelievable stuff. That would be definitely an extra weapon to have on our pitching staff. Hopefully, with these sim games and everything, there won't be any rust and he'll be able to go out there right away and help us win.”