Third Candidate: Danny Salazar.
Danny Salazar is a pitcher full of potential, but he is still far awau from his upside, which is high. Salazar had a good rookie year in 2013, going 2-3 with a 3.12 ERA in 12 starts. Salazar really seemed to come into his own in 2013, but we were all second-guessing ourselves after his mediocre start to the 2014 season.
He finished the month of April with a 6.04 ERA to go along with 4 losses, and was sent down to the minor leagues in the middle of May. Salazar did eventually get the call to return to “the Show” in late July, and he pitched pretty well from then on. He had a sparkling 2.77 ERA during the month of August, and it seemed that the hard-throwing righty was at the level we were hoping for at the beginning of the year.
Salazar seems to be the favorite to earn the last spot in the 2015 rotation, and I believe he has a good shot at it. If he can develop his changeup more and control his fastball, he may be the guy to slide into the Tribe’s permanent starting five. Danny Salazar can be an ace starter some day, and it’s time for him to prove it.