Very welcome news for Indians fans became public yesterday: Youngster Danny Salazar will no longer pitch with his restrictive pitch count limit for the remainder of 2013.
The Plain Dealer’s Paul Hoynes reported the story, saying that Salazar actually was without his usual 70-80 pitch limit on Wednesday. In the end, he was able to efficiently work six innings with only 82 pitches before being removed from the game.
“Before the game the coaches told me not to worry about the pitch count,” Salazar said in the article. “There were times, when I was on the pitch count, when I’d look the scoreboard to see how many pitches I had and I’d say, ‘I’ve got one more inning and I’m finished.'”
Now, that will no longer be an issue for the fire-throwing 23-year-old. In his nine starts with the Tribe, Salazar is 1-3 with a 3.09 ERA in 46.2 innings pitched. He has 57 strikeouts against only 14 walks and a .648 OPS allowed. He took the loss in Wednesday’s 7-2 defeat in Kansas City.
The odd fact in Hoynes’ article, however, was this in his lead sentence: “He has only one start left in the regular season, but …”. Since Salazar pitched Wednesday, his next scheduled start would likely be Tuesday’s sixth-to-last regular season game. With another full rotation swing, that’d line him up for the season finale on Sunday, Sept. 28. But apparently not?
It’s certainly possible that was a typo from Hoynes, or perhaps the Indians are quietly planning on unleashing injured ace Justin Masterson by that point. Recently returned right-hander Josh Tomlin or current long reliever Carlos Carrasco also could contribute, if needed. But it seems like a curious statement to make when every game is so crucial down the stretch.
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