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.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.