Salazar was a regular starter up until August, when he had his first stint on the disabled list. He returned, but a September 9 outing turned out to be his last, unless the Indians make the World Series and he is deemed healthy enough to be on the roster. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.
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His rehab work in Arizona did not progress fast enough for him to be considered a reliable member of the bullpen for the upcoming ALCS, but Indians fans should not see this as anything that will be too detrimental to the Indians’ chances of winning the upcoming series.
Fans have seen Salazar join the likes of Carlos Carrasco, Michael Brantley and Yan Gomes on the disabled list this season, and while they were all big losses, the team never faltered. Other individuals have continually stepped up, and the team has been led by the great managing of Terry Francona.
Acting like a certain local writer, although we have moved past his comments, and assuming this injury is the one to doom the Indians would just be foolish. Salazar’s absence just means the players who have been stepping up in his absence have to keep doing so.
The sheer dominance of the bullpen seen against the Boston Red Sox may not be repeated against the Toronto Blue Jays, but this bullpen is still arguably the best in baseball. Adding Salazar would be a nice addition, but his month-long absence from the team may lead to some slip ups at a time when none are acceptable.
Trying to predict how this team will do is nearly impossible, as a shutout loss will be followed by an offensive explosion. And after a sweep of the Red Sox in the ALDS, Indians fans are in great hands with that group of 25-men who began the journey toward the team’s first World Series title since 1948.