The Cleveland Indians are set to option Danny Salazar today back to Columbus and recall right-handed reliever Chen-Chang Lee. The team just announced the move on Twitter this afternoon. Tony Lastoria at Indians Baseball Insider broke the news last night.
It’s certainly sad to see Salazar go after his sensational debut yesterday afternoon, but it makes sense. The Indians won’t have a need for a No. 5 starter for another 11 days because of the upcoming All-Star break. By that time, Zach McAllister may be ready to be activated from the disabled list.
Salazar, 23, had one of the best debuts for a Cleveland Indians starter ever. He struck out seven Toronto Blue Jays in six dominant innings, carrying a no-hitter into his final frame. He’ll return to the Clippers where he’s only made 10 Triple-A starts (and 13 in Double-A) in his minor league career.
In return, the Indians are promoting the 26-year-old nicknamed C.C. Lee. A high-profile Taiwanese minor league free agent in September 2008, he’s one of the most touted reliever prospects in the system. He’s been on the mend thus far in 2013 from Tommy John surgery last year, thus he only has limited outings back in Triple-A. He’s old for his level now and will be getting his first opportunity in the big leagues.
Overall, in his 107 career games between the Double-A Akron Aeros and Clippers, Lee has a 2.83 ERA with 210 strikeouts and 53 walks in 165.1 innings pitched. A pint-sized 5-foot-10, he generates tremendous velocity and deception with his delivery. The Indians announced on Twitter that Lee will provide additional bullpen help for the next week or so.
Lee will be the 23rd pitcher to appear in a game for the Indians already in 2013. The team has had try-outs for a variety of other prospects such as Trevor Bauer, Matt Langwell, Preston Guilmet and, most recently, Salazar. They’ve also given opportunities to non-prospects like Joe Martinez and David Huff, while former prospects Nick Hagadone and Scott Barnes messed up their chances to stick with the team too.
Jacob Rosen is a long-time contributor to WaitingForNextYear. He's also a writer online at SportsAnalyticsBlog and Nylon Calculus . An Akron native, Jacob is a current MBA student at the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. You can follow him on Twitter @WFNYJacob or e-mail him at udjrosen(at)gmail(dot)com.