When Corey Kluber went down and Trevor Bauer ended up on the trade block, some Indians fans I know said “well, we could get Danny Salazar back.” So much for that: the Indians transferred Salazar from the 10-day IL to the 60-day IL, singling the end of his season.
Salazar made just one appearance this season, on August 1, before suffering a groin injury. Before that he had missed all of last season and most of this season recovering from shoulder surgery he underwent in July of 2018.
Salazar has all the tools necessary to be an ace starter except, unfortunately, health, which has blown a hole in his career. He has started 30 games exactly one time in his six seasons in the bigs. When he has pitched he has performed well, posting a 3.82 ERA while striking out 10.5 batters per nine innings.
Now, one wonders, if he’ll ever fulfill his considerable promise.
Indians slugger José Ramírez broke the hamate bone on his right hand last month and had surgery on August 26 to repair it. At the time he was given the same schedule most hamate bone surgery recipients get: 5-7 weeks if all goes well. Apparently all has gone better-than-well for Ramírez, however, because the Indians are going to activate him tomorrow.
That’s good news for the Indians, who are in a dead heat with the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL’s second Wild Card with six games to go.
Ramírez, like his team, started the season slowly, but he had turned things on in July and August to help fuel Cleveland’s surge into playoff contention. He hit .320/.340/.680 with nine homers and 25 driven in in July and was hitting .321/.372/.705 with six homers and 20 driven in August when he went down. Basically, he had been a better version of the Ramírez who won the Silver Slugger Award and came in third in the MVP balloting in 2018, at least for those two months.
It’ll be interesting to see how rusty he is or if the surgery has sapped his power or bat speed. We’ll only have six games in which to see it, though.