Danny Salazar was supposed to be one of the breakout stars of this season, but instead the 23-year-old Indians right-hander pitched himself back to Triple-A by going 1-4 with a 5.53 ERA in eight starts and now he’s struggling in the minors too.
Salazar has started three games at Triple-A since being demoted on May 16 and he’s 0-3 with a 7.11 ERA, allowing 29 baserunners in 12.2 innings. By comparison, at Triple-A last season Salazar posted a 2.73 ERA with 78 strikeouts in 59.1 innings before being called up to Cleveland for his big-league debut.
Zack Meisel of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that Salazar has had problems with his mechanics since the demotion and in particular “had trouble keeping his lead arm at a consistent height.”
Salazar is a huge part of the Indians’ future and when they demoted him to Triple-A last month it was no doubt done with the idea of bringing him back to the majors pretty quickly, but now those plans are on hold.
The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.
The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.
Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.
The matchups for Tuesday’s action:
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.
Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.
The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.