Yesterday Indians manager Terry Francona said that starter Danny Salazar is not going to be ready for the beginning of the season due to an inflammation in his right rotator cuff. He could begin throwing off a mound in a few days but doesn’t have enough time to get ready to start to begin the season.
Salazar is a considerable talent, but he’s never been able to stay healthy. He’s only pitched in 30 games once, back in 2015. Last season he was 5-6 with a 4.28 ERA in 23 games, 19 of which were starts. He did strike out 12.7 batters per nine innings, though, suggesting that he’s got it when he’s not hurt. Dude just can’t not stay un-hurt.
In his place in the rotation will go Mike Clevinger. Clevinger posted a 3.11 ERA (147 ERA+) with 137 strikeouts over 121.2 innings for the Tribe last season.
Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark met the press late this morning and covered a wide array of topics.
One of them: free agency, which he referred to as being “under attack” based on the slow market for free agents last offseason.
“What the players saw last offseason was that their free-agent rights were under attack on what has been the bedrock of our system,” Clark said. He added that they “have some very difficult decisions to make.” Presumably in the form of grievances and, down the road, a negotiating strategy that seeks to claw back some of the many concessions the union has given owners in the past few Collective Bargaining Agreements. CBAs, it’s worth noting, that Clark negotiated. We’ve covered that territory in detail in the past.
Of more immediate interest was Clark’s comment that the idea of a universal designated hitter is, among players, “gaining momentum.” Clark says “players are talking about it more than they have in the past.” We’ve talked a lot about that as well.
Given that hating or loving the DH is the closest thing baseball has to a religion, no one’s mind is going to be changed by any of this, but I think, practically speaking, it’s inevitable that the National League will have the DH and I think it happens relatively soon. Perhaps in the next five years. The opposition to it at this point is solely subjective and based on tradition. People like pitchers batting and they like double switches and they like the leagues being different because they, well, like it. If the system were being set up today, however, they’d never have it this way and I think even the DH-haters know that well. That doesn’t mean that you can’t dislike a universal DH, but it does mean that you can’t expect the people who run the game to cater to that preference when it makes little sense for them to do it for their own purposes.
Anyway, enjoy convincing each other in the comments about how the side of that argument you dislike is wrong.