An MRI has revealed a mild strain of the flexor musculature in Danny Salazar’s right forearm, the Indians announced today. Salazar will receive a platelet-rich plasma injection tomorrow and be shut down from all throwing for 10 days thereafter. Cleveland’s announcement indicates that his projected recovery time is three to four weeks, effectively ending Salazar’s regular season. On the plus side, if he’s able to recover in the allotted time frame, he could rejoin the team’s postseason rotation.
While the news is certainly worse than the initial report that Salazar would miss one start due to the forearm issue, there were certainly more frightening potential outcomes for Cleveland. Salazar had Tommy John surgery while working his way up through the minors, but the examination of his forearm and elbow showed that his reconstructed ulnar collateral ligament remains intact.
Salazar, 26, has delivered another strong campaign for the Indians, working to a 3.87 earned run average with 10.6 K/9, 4.1 BB/9 and a 47.8 percent ground-ball rate in 137 1/3 innings of work to his credit thus far. However, this isn’t the first brush with injury that he’s had in 2016, either; inflammation in Salazar’s right elbow cost him two weeks last month, and he’s now set to miss a wider slate of games than for his previous arm issue.
While Salazar’s injury calls into question whether he’d be able to take the ball in the ALDS — and with a seven-game lead over the Tigers in the AL Central, it seems safe to assume that Cleveland will indeed find itself in that series — Cleveland can rely on Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco to serve as its one-two punch in that first postseason round. While it’s been an up-and-down season for the other members of the rotation, Trevor Bauer has looked plenty sharp over his past seven appearances (3.30 ERA) and could take the ball in Game 3 if Salazar is unable to return by that point.