Trevor Bauer coming up, Danny Salazar going down

Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer throws during spring training baseball practice in Goodyear, Ariz., Friday, Feb. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

This news should come as sweet relief to anyone who's actually been starting Danny Salazar all year (like, um ... me): Salazar and his 5.53 ERA have been optioned to Triple-A Columbus, where the 24-year-old can get a bit more seasoning.

The kid's walk-rate is up (9.2 percent), his average fastball velocity is down (93.6 mph), and he's been racking up big pitch-counts in relatively few innings. Six of Salazar's eight starts this season have lasted less than 6.0 frames. And did I mention that his WHIP is 1.62? Well, it is. He has not been good. The Ks have been there (47 in 40.2 IP), but nothing else is working.

So down he goes.

Salazar will be replaced by another young righty, Trevor Bauer. In seven starts at Triple-A so far this year, Bauer has been terrific: 4-1, 2.15 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 14 BB and 44 Ks in 46.0 innings. He's made just one big league start this season, striking out eight Pads over 6.0 innings, allowing four hits, two walks and one earned run.

It's encouraging to see Bauer's walks dip to non-disastrous levels, because command had been the killer for him in the majors. Entering this season, he'd issued 29 free passes in 33.1 MLB innings. Bauer has a billion pitches in his arsenal, and he's been reworking his mechanics over many months. His next start will be a degree-of-difficulty matchup with Detroit, and the schedule is kind of a mess for Cleveland looking ahead (DET, BAL, CWS, COL, BOS, TEX). But Bauer is at least a stash-and-watch player, based on potential. He's available in 83 percent of the Yahoo universe.

 

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