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Salazar returning to Indians' rotation

MLB.com @MLBastian

SAN FRANCISCO -- Danny Salazar received some good news when he heard from Indians manager Terry Francona and pitching coach Mickey Callaway on Tuesday. The sidelined pitcher will come off the disabled list and take the mound for Cleveland in his next scheduled start.

The rest of the details surrounding Salazar's situation, and the Tribe's rotation alignment as a whole, remains undetermined. The Indians have an off-day Monday that provides some flexibility, and the club plans on monitoring Corey Kluber's bullpen session Wednesday, given that the ace is currently fighting a neck issue.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Danny Salazar received some good news when he heard from Indians manager Terry Francona and pitching coach Mickey Callaway on Tuesday. The sidelined pitcher will come off the disabled list and take the mound for Cleveland in his next scheduled start.

The rest of the details surrounding Salazar's situation, and the Tribe's rotation alignment as a whole, remains undetermined. The Indians have an off-day Monday that provides some flexibility, and the club plans on monitoring Corey Kluber's bullpen session Wednesday, given that the ace is currently fighting a neck issue.

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"We're just trying to manage all of this," Francona said prior to Tuesday's game against the Giants. "There's a lot of ways we could do this and, quite frankly, we're not sure yet."

Salazar, who has been on the DL since June 4 with a right shoulder issue, could start on regular rest Friday against the Blue Jays, if the Indians want to give Kluber an extra day off before his next turn. Thanks to Monday's off-day, Cleveland could go in a number of directions for the Saturday and Sunday games against Toronto, too.

Both Francona and Callaway noted that the addition of Salazar does not necessarily mean that someone is immediately coming out of Cleveland's current rotation. For at least one turn, the Indians might go with a six-man staff (Carlos Carrasco, Josh Tomlin, Mike Clevinger and Trevor Bauer being the others).

"I don't think we've even made a decision if anybody's going to the bullpen," Callaway said. "We'll have to see."

With the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline looming, getting Salazar back will give the Indians a chance to assess his progress against Major League hitters, while continuing to weigh possible upgrades via the trade market. If Salazar can return to form, the hope would be the right-hander can help Cleveland regain the consistency it has lacked behind Kluber and Carrasco.

Prior to the All-Star break last season, Salazar went 10-3 with a 2.75 ERA over 17 games (104 2/3 innings) and made his first All-Star team. In his 20 appearances since that run, Salazar has dealt with elbow, forearm and shoulder issues, while posting a 6.16 ERA in 87 2/3 innings between stints on the shelf. This year, Salazar went 3-5 with a 5.40 ERA in 12 games before being placed on the DL.

In four recent rehab outings, Salazar turned in a 3.38 ERA with 23 strikeouts against nine walks in 16 innings.

"We're counting on him," Callaway said. "We need an effective Danny Salazar out there to be the team we want to be."

Francona echoed that sentiment.

"Getting him back is good," said the manager, "but the reason you get him back is because you want to win. It'll be fun to see him get back and then get stronger as he goes. That's the whole idea. That's why we've tried not to rush this, because we want him to come back and be back and be good."

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 Facebook.

Cleveland Indians, Corey Kluber, Danny Salazar