Biggest Disappointments from Indians Spring Training
As we come to the end of spring training and anticipate the regular season the Indians, after completing their 25-man roster, are ready to start the journey that is the 2015 season.
Every spring, teams are just looking to get work in for their players, making sure that everyone is relatively healthy, and creating the best 25-man roster possible. While trying to take care of all those tasks, the Indians definitely experienced some ups and downs. During the spring for the Tribe, there were many players who surprised us all, and players who left all of us fans feeling flat out disappointed. So as we reach the beginning of the regular season, let’s now take look at the biggest disappointments of the spring.
Danny Salazar has truly been the biggest disappointment this spring for the Tribe. Salazar started the spring as a strong candidate to secure the 5th spot in the Indians starting rotation, and then had a even better chance when SP Gavin Floyd went down with an injury.
In 2013, Salazar broke into the league in a big way. That year, in 10 games started Salazar went 2-3 with a 2.32 ERA and posted 65 strikeouts. And he took the ball for the Indians in the wild card game against the Rays (the first playoff game for the Indians in six years). His tantalizing fastball, nasty changeup and devastating slider led to high praise and the expectation that he was the ace of the future.
In 2014, Salazar fell of the wagon when it comes to consistency. Last season, Salazar in 20 games started went 6-8 with a 4.25 ERA and a 125/35 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His strikeouts were a plus but he his walks and inability to get far in games led to his demotion to Triple-A Columbus.
And then there’s this spring where his fall from grace has continued. This spring in 4 games started Salazar has gone 1-2 with a horrendous 8.18 ERA. He also gave up 10 earned runs in only 11.0 innings pitched.
This awful performance under pressure has led to the demotion of Salazar for the 3rd time in under two years to Triple-A. We are hoping one day Salazar figures it out and makes it big with the Tribe in the future.
David Murphy, whom has been healthy the entire spring, has been a major disappointment so far to say the least. With Nick Swisher making his way back, Murphy, who started most of the games in right field will be the starting RF/DH for at least the better part of April.
The Indians will be depending on Murphy to be the model of consistency he was in Texas in the field and at the plate. Before Murphy hurt his oblique he was batting .270 and was in the top ten in the AL in RBIs with 35.
Once he hurt his oblique his season derailed from there. Murphy was able to finish the season with a .262 batting average with just over 100 hits and 58 RBIs.
Coming into this season nobody had many expectations for Murphy, but his underwhelming showing this spring has left more to desire.
This spring, in 16 games Murphy has had a .188 BA/.220 OBP/.208 slash line with no home runs, 3 RBIs and 0 runs scored. Murphy has been disappointing this spring and he has to pick it up to have success this season.
Not much to say with this one. During the offseason the Indians added some veteran starter depth by signing Floyd to a 1 year/$4 million (with $6 million in pitching incentives).
The Indians decided to overlook Floyd’s horrendous pitching delivery and his recent injury history and took a flyer on his previous abilities. Unfortunately, Floyd’s injury history came back to bite him when he re-hurt his same elbow during a bullpen session.
Floyd is a major disappointment because he takes a big chunk out of the Indians pitching depth. Floyd’s injury hurts in the long run but the Indians have the depth to handle it during the season.
There have been disappointments during spring training but it all goes back to zero on opening day and those who did struggle have the chance to redeem themselves.
So Here’s to the regular season. Go Tribe
By: Gabe Cohn
Follow me on twitter: @CSTGabe