Salazar unlikely to be ready to pitch in ALCS

Recovering righty working out in in Arizona, but time isn't on his side

October 12th, 2016

CLEVELAND -- The probability of throwing a pitch for the Indians this postseason continues to dwindle. During Wednesday's workout, manager Terry Francona and pitching coach Mickey Callaway deemed it extremely unlikely that Salazar would make the cut for the American League Championship Series roster.

That makes it a safe bet that the right-hander's name will not be included when Cleveland does reveal its ALCS roster before Game 1 on Friday, which starts at 8 p.m. ET on TBS in the U.S. and Sportsnet (English) and RDS (French) in Canada.

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"I don't think he's progressed quite to the point where [he's ready]," Francona said. "He's doing pretty good. He's not back yet where he's throwing all his pitches or letting it go 100 percent. I think if we ask him to do that, he might be reaching right now. We've been pretty vocal about the first priority is getting him back healthy. I think this proves it."

Salazar, who made his first All-Star team this year after a stellar first half, has not pitched since Sept. 9 due to a right forearm strain. He's also dealt with shoulder and elbow issues this season, which ended with him averaging fewer than four innings across his final seven starts. If Salazar were to return to this postseason, it would be as a reliever, not as a rotation option.

Callaway noted that Salazar is scheduled to face batters in a simulated-game setting on Thursday in Arizona at the team's Spring Training complex. Salazar still is limited to throwing only fastballs and changeups, as it was his curveball that led to discomfort in his forearm.

Given that the ALCS begins Friday, Callaway said time is not on Salazar's side.

"It's getting late in the game for this series," Callaway said.