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WFNY Stats & Info: Danny Salazar’s magical debut

For all those at Thursday afternoon’s Indians game, you witnessed history in the making. Danny Salazar, a 23-year-old right-handed prospect, delivered a standout performance in his MLB debut, among the best in franchise history.

The final line for the Dominican Republic native: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. He had 89 pitches in the contest — as many as he had delivered in his 17 minor league games this season — and carried a no-hitter into his final frame.

Per the Game Score statistic, it was tied for the sixth-best MLB starter debut since 2010, according to Baseball-Reference’s Play Index Tool. Some of the other names on the top-10 debut list are among the best prospects in baseball in the last few years (Wacha, Strasburg, Harvey) along with a fellow Cleveland Indian (Tomlin).

best debuts since 2010

What was more notable, however, was where Salazar’s performance stood out on the list of all-time Cleveland Indians starter debuts. He also ranked sixth in this list, per Game Score, among all Tribe starter debuts dating back to 1916.
best indians debuts

The stat that was being thrown out all around yesterday afternoon on Twitter was this: Salazar’s 7 strikeouts were the most by an Indians starter in a debut since Luis Tiant’s 11 in 1964. Herb Score had 9 in his 1955 debut and Floyd Weaver had 8 in 1962. Then, Salazar ranks fourth.

Per Elias Sports at ESPN, Salazar is also only the fourth pitcher to defeat a reigning Cy Young winner (R.A. Dickey) in their MLB debut.

I’ve written plenty about Salazar already this season, most notably after his promotion to Columbus in early May and then his announced MLB promotion earlier this week. Overall on the season, even though he’s only two years removed from Tommy John surgery, he ranked 8th in the minor leagues with a 33.1% strikeout rate (min. 50 IP).

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

  • Kevin Huyghe

    Is there anything more 1970s-Indians than Jim Kern going the distance, allowing one run on 5 hits and getting the loss?

  • Jason Hurley

    I’m sure the 5 walks didn’t help, but yes, that’s SOOOO Indians.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Loved seeing a 98 mph fastball along with a tremendous change-up and hard slider. Unlike Bauer who for me is a thrower with to many ideas Salazar looked more like a pitcher with a great arm. Bauer’s mechanics are scary he reminds me alot of Lincecum. A TJ candidate in the waiting.

  • Harv 21

    Don’t understand how Steve Dunning’s debut 1-hitter in 1971 is not on this list. Then again, can’t check it using the linked site due, apparently, to my incompetence.

  • Justice

    Probably because Dunning debuted in 1970. FWIW, that game in ’71 had a game score of 86, but was his 18th career start.

  • JacobWFNY

    Steve Dunning didn’t throw a 1-hitter in his MLB debut. Sorry to disappoint, Harv.

  • Harv 21

    but … but … that implies my memory is … [can’t say it] …[stifles sob] … OH SHOVE YOUR STATS, MATH BOY.

  • Kevin Huyghe

    Haha yeah I noticed the walks too… so that means he had a minimum of 10 baserunners, somehow only allowed one run, but we couldn’t even get the one.

  • nj0

    A.) You compare Bauer to a two-time CY winner like it’s a bad thing.
    B.) Salazar already has had Tommy John surgery.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    The comparison between Bauer and Lincecum was more of a mechanical one. I haven’t seen anything other then mechanics that would lead me to compare him to Lincecum otherwise.

    And I didn’t know Salazar had already had TJ surgery. Glad he got it out of the way.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    OH NO U DIDN’T! Jacob u want me to cut him just say the word? 😉