The Indians will be joined by starting pitcher Danny Salazar for the World Series. After injury cut his regular season short, what is his 2017 fantasy outlook?
The Cleveland Indians will start a four-game series on Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs with a World Series title on the line. Their starting rotation finished with the seventh-best ERA and sixth-best WHIP in the regular season. That could get a lot better with the addition of Danny Salazar. He will be a part of the World Series roster. What does that mean for his 2017 value?
Salazar had a good season this year, making 25 starts and posting a 11-6 record, 3.87 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 10.6 K/9. He was voted into the All-Star game. Unfortunately, Salazar was unable to help the Indians in the final month of the season.
Salazar’s season was cut short with a forearm injury. He’s been out since Sept. 9. He pitched in a simulated game on Sunday and remains a possibility to start Game 4. However, he is still not throwing his curveball, which makes getting hitters out more difficult.
Indians manager Terry Francona remains uncertain. “It’s going to be TBA after Game 3 probably the rest of the way, for obvious reasons,” he said, according to Ryan Lewis of the Akron Beacon Journal.
Heading into next season, things get a little interesting. I expect him to be fully healthy and return to the Indians rotation. With Carlos Carrasco currently injured, the addition of Salazar could make them World Series favorites again.
Salazar was a 10th round pick in ESPN fantasy leagues, the 25th starting pitcher drafted. I don’t feel comfortable putting him back in the top-30, even if he makes a start in the World Series. He didn’t do significant enough damage to warrant Tommy John surgery, but missing a month of time is worth noting.
The Indians are playing this similarly to the Cubs and Kyle Schwarber. They haven’t rushed Salazar back into the rotation, but, while he’s cleared to throw, isn’t 100 percent. If he isn’t ready enough to start a game, it’s tough to trust him. I will keep Salazar in my top 40 with potential to move up.
Salazar could be a sleeper pick in next year’s drafts.