While Trevor Bauer will attempt to keep things rolling against Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night, recently demoted starting pitcher Danny Salazar did himself no favors this afternoon when he was tagged for five runs on six hits and three walks over 2 2/3 innings for the Columbus Clippers.
Salazar threw 42 out of 70 pitches for strikes and struck out just one batter.
At the big league level, the 24-year old had a 5.53 ERA (with FIP of 4.65) over eight starts prior to being demoted to the minors last week as the Indians attempt to keep ahold of the reigns before things really spiral out of control. Salazar has had trouble making it past the fifth inning due to high pitch totals. He has the ability to miss bats at an incredible rate (he’s struck out 47 batters in just 40 innings of work), but he has also seen plenty of pitches fouled off which have only served to extend at-bats and add more chalk lines to his in-game pitch count. In eight games, Salazar has already allowed more hits in 2014 (49) than he did through 10 games in his coming out party a season earlier (44).
Year over year, Salazar’s strikeout rate is down, his walk rate is up, his home run rate is up, and—while he’s been very unlucky with a .369 BABiP—his fly ball (and home run-per-fly ball) rate has increased.
It’s safe to assume that Salazar will have to work out whatever issues he has—mechanical, mental—before the Indians will give him another shot. Until then, we have to hope that Bauer and Josh Tomlin can keep the rotation afloat.