Cleveland demoted Danny Salazar to Triple-A this morning and manager Terry Francona just announced that they’ll be replacing him in the rotation with another high-upside young right-hander in Trevor Bauer.
Bauer has struggled in the majors, but the former No. 3 overall pick has some of the best raw stuff of any prospect in baseball and pitched very well in a one-start call-up last month. He’s also thrived at Triple-A with a 2.15 ERA and 44/14 K/BB ratio in 46 innings.
At some point the Indians obviously want Bauer and Salazar together atop the rotation for many years to come, but in the meantime demoting Salazar for some early rough patches gives them a chance to evaluate Bauer. If he throws strikes, he could stick around this time.
Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.
Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.
Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.
In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”