CLEVELAND -- Indians pitcher Danny Salazar will be watching the American League Division Series from Arizona.During Tuesday's workout at Progressive Field, manager Terry Francona announced that Salazar will not be on the roster to face the Red Sox in the ALDS, which begins with Game 1 on Thursday at 8
CLEVELAND -- Indians pitcher Danny Salazar will be watching the American League Division Series from Arizona.
During Tuesday's workout at Progressive Field, manager Terry Francona announced that Salazar will not be on the roster to face the Red Sox in the ALDS, which begins with Game 1 on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on TBS. Salazar, who is trying to return as a reliever after sustaining a right forearm strain last month, will continue his throwing program at Cleveland's complex in Goodyear, Ariz.
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"He's not ready to pitch in a game," Francona said. "He's making significant progress, and we think that there's a possibility that a game might not be too far off in the horizon."
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Salazar threw a bullpen session during Tuesday's workout, but the Indians do not feel he will be completely ready in time to be placed on the ALDS roster, which is scheduled to be announced on Thursday morning. The right-hander left a start against the Twins on Sept. 9 due to tightness in his forearm and was then shut down after an MRI exam revealed a strain.
Over the past two weeks, Salazar has ramped up his throwing again, but the pitcher is unable to throw his curveball due to discomfort. Under the circumstances, Cleveland does not plan on bringing Salazar back as a starter. If the Indians are able to advance past the ALDS, though, there is still a chance that the righty could be a part of the bullpen for the AL Championship Series.
"Danny wasn't ready to go and impact our team for the first series," said Chris Antonetti, the Indians' president of baseball operations. "But that does not mean that he won't have a chance to impact our team if we move on. Right now, he'll continue on a throwing program, try to build up his arm strength, feel completely healthy, and we'll see where it goes from there."
Antonetti added that Salazar's role, "would be in shorter stints. It's not going to be in a starting spot."
In 25 starts for the Indians this season, Salazar went 11-6 with 161 strikeouts and 63 walks in 137 1/3 innings. The righty was 10-3 with a 2.22 ERA by the end of June and earned a place on the AL All-Star team for his work in the first half. Salazar dealt with a variety of health woes, though. Shoulder fatigue cost him one start in early June, and elbow issues flared up in July and August, before the forearm problem.
Given that history, Cleveland does not want to rush Salazar back until he is deemed fully healthy.
"Danny obviously wants to pitch," Antonetti said. "They work throughout the course of the year and in Spring Training just to get to this point and have the opportunity to pitch or play in the postseason. Danny's just not to that point. I think if he could pitch, he would."
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.