MLB News: Indians to promote C.C. Lee, demote Danny Salazar

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.

[Related: Indians 4 Blue Jays 2: Salazar dazzles in Tribe debut]

  • Garry_Owen

    The attitude of Cliff in the body of Sabathia?

  • mgbode

    as long as he pitches like a combination of the two as well, I’m good with anything.

  • cmm13


  • JNeids

    I picture Morbo, the news co-anchor from Futurama, shouting this.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    A Taiwanese Sabathia man I gotta see this dude!

  • markn95

    210 K’s in 165 innings in AA and AAA? Yeah, I’ll take that. If it weren’t for injury, the Tribe would have called this guy up long before more questionable arms like Barnes, Langwell, and Guillmet. As recently as a year ago, IBI.com listed him as one of the organization’s top-10 prospects–impressive for a RP who is not necessarily a closer.

    Hopefully, this guy sees some action before the break this weekend and impresses. If so, I can see the club maybe keeping him post-ASB and cutting Rich Hill (please!) or sending Brian Shaw down for a few weeks to rebuild his arm strength. (Or maybe Pestano’s elbow puts him back on the DL).

  • Harv 21

    “He’s old for his level now …”

    Ha! Feh! Who cares! His throwing arm has a newbie ligament, that’s all I know. Push his wheelchair up the mound and let’s see if he’s got a little sumpin sumpin for us. Gotta be better than the heart attack and heartbreak specials we’ve been featuring lately.

    One effective tweak – ONE! – and this bullpen is re-set. Let’s do this thing, CC-Lee-C.

    Also, this coffee is excellent.

  • Steve

    Assuming they will be limiting Salazar’s innings, I’d like to see both these guys in the pen the rest of the way.

  • woofersus

    I’m a little torn on the idea of moving guys to the pen and then stretching them back out, especially after Tommy John. Wouldn’t it be better to keep him at 85-90 pitches and let him work on all his pitches every 5 days? In the pen at the big league level he’d probably just come in and throw fastballs and changeups and get sporadic, varying workloads. Plus, when somebody inevitably gets hurt you’d like to still have him available to spot-start.

    Honestly, they only need one new quality RHP in the pen. (unless Perez gets traded) They need at least one, and preferably two quality LHP’s though, and that’s probably not coming from within unless they move Kazmir to the pen with the addition of a new starter somehow. Hopefully Lee at least takes care of the former.

  • Steve

    They’ve already worked the pen pretty hard this year, stretching it then fairly often. Putting a guy who can’t top 90 pitches into the rotation won’t help.

  • woofersus

    I meant in Columbus, not Cleveland. I agree we don’t need another short outing every 5 days. I’m assuming for the moment that McAllister will be back in the rotation after the break, and the AAA pitchers will resume “emergency only” status.