Danny Salazar dazzled in his rookie season with the Cleveland Indians. In only 10 starts he posted a 3.12 ERA and an 11.25 K/9 mark.
At age 24, Salazar is a prized pitcher and a key part of the plan for the Indians this season and beyond. Look no further than the fact that Salazar is slotted into the #2 spot in the rotation despite the fact that he only has those 10 career starts at the big league level.
Salazar had Tommy John surgery in 2010. Ever since then, the Indians have taken it slow with the right-handed starter and have eased him into a big league workload. This spring is no different in that regard, as Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer notes:
Salazar, who in December was scheduled to be the Indians’ No.2 starter behind Justin Masterson, threw batting practice Saturday morning. He’ll take two days off and throw another round of BP.
The Indians say Salazar is healthy and that they just want to make sure he’s ready for the regular season. Yet every other ‘healthy’ pitcher in camp was ready for games after two bullpen sessions this spring.”
When it comes to quality young starters, teams are becoming more and more calculated in how much they allow guys to pitch. The Indians will presumably monitor Salazar’s innings and pitch counts all season, a process they are starting by limiting his load in Spring Training.