GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Danny Salazar was happy with his three innings of work in Friday’s minor-league game. The right-hander struck out six with his fastball regularly going between 91-98 miles per hour.
The thing that pleased Salazar the most is that he got strikes on first pitches on 10 of the 12 batters he faced. The only hit he allowed was a solo home run on a full-count fastball.
"My delivery was better and I was throwing more strikes," Salazar said on Saturday before the Indians take on the Diamondbacks. "Another thing is I feel like I’m getting stronger. Every new inning I can feel the strength in my shoulder."
Salazar is scheduled to go four innings on Wednesday against the Athletics. His only Cactus League start so far was last Monday against the Angels, when he went 1 2/3 innings, allowing two hits and a run while walking two and striking out two.
When asked if he was going to try to throw 100 in a game during Spring Training, Salazar said he would save that for the season, which he called "my extra bullets."
Manager Terry Francona added: "That’s just someone giving you a nice quote. We want guys to compete, we don’t want guys trying to throw 100. That’s not the goal."
BEHIND THE PLATE: Francona said that Carlos Santana would catch a bullpen session on Monday and cold possibly catch on Tuesday against San Francisco, which is a night game. A lot though depends on how Santana feels after the weekend. The Tribe has split-squad games on Sunday against the Giants and Cubs.
"We’re trying to balance the amount of work he’s done to play third. He’s been out there every day and on top of that now doing the catching," Francona said. "If he can handle that it is a unique skill set. "
TRAINING ROOM: Outfielder Nyjer Morgan has not been medically cleared to play. Francona said Morgan is champing at the bit to return to game action but still has to undergo further tests.
First baseman/outfielder Bryan LaHair will play on Sunday against the Giants. It will be his first game.
TODAY’S LINEUP VS. DIAMONDBACKS
Asbrubal Cabrera SS
Nick Swisher 1B
Jeff Francoeur DH
Carlos Santana 3B
Mike Aviles LF
David Murphy RF
Elliot Johnson CF
Justin Sellers 2B
Luke Carlin C
Pitchers: Frank Herrmann (RH), Vinnie Pestano (RH), Bryan Price (RH), Blake Wood (RH), John Axford (RH), Marc Rzepczynski (LH), Josh Outman (LH), Nick Hagadone (LH), C.C. Lee (RH)