With a 1-4 start to begin the 2014 season, and his team in need of continued consistency from the starting rotation, Danny Salazar has been optioned to Columbus. Salazr will head south with an ERA of 5.53 through eight starts where he allowed 49 hits in 40 2/3 innings, striking out 47 and walking 17.
Taking Salazar’s spot will be left-handed reliever Kyle Crockett who will get the fast-track call from Double-A Akron. Crockett, 22, has an ERA of 0.57 to go with 6 saves in 15 relief appearances for the Rubber Ducks this season. He has a struck out 17 and walked just three. Tied for fifth in the Eastern League in saves, he has limited left-handed Eastern league batters to a .118 average.
“We identified Kyle as a guy who could move quickly when we signed him,” said Ross Atkins earlier this season. “We liked the consistency of his stuff, his determination and his work ethic. He’s an exceptional strike thrower with two major-league average or above average pitches in his fastball and slider. He controls the running game, fields his position well. When you start checking the boxes of the things you need to be able to do to pitch in the big leagues, he’s already got a lot of boxes checked.”
Crockett was a fourth-round selection in the 2013 MLB Draft. In his Junior year with the University of Virginia, he walked only seven batters in 58.1 innings while striking out 71. He is the first member of the 2013 draft class to reach the Major Leagues, owning a two-year professional ERA of 0.45 in 36 relief appearances, striking out 49 and walking just eight in 40 1/3 innings of work. Getting the call after just 11 months of minor league work, Crockett tops Cody Allen who was promoted to the big leagues after just 14 months.