CLEVELAND: Fans might wonder why Danny Salazar’s pitch counts have been held to 89 or less, with one exception. In his start Aug. 7 against the Detroit Tigers, Salazar threw 103 pitches and lasted 7⅔ innings.
“Danny pitched 120 innings last year,” manager Terry Francona said. “When you start building up a guy’s innings drastically in volume, you put a pitcher at risk.”
It’s not just the number of innings, but the stress level.
“Danny went from Double-A to Triple-A to up here,” Francona said. “And the intensity level in the major leagues is much higher.”
For those who like to count innings rather than pitches, Salazar has thrown 126 innings this year, including 33 in the majors.
Next year, Francona doesn’t expect Salazar to have any more limitations than his other starters.
WATCHING THE NO. 1s — The Tribe’s top pick in the June draft, Clint Frazier, began his pro career in the Arizona Rookie League and batted .297 with 11 doubles, five triples, five home runs and 28 RBI in 44 games.
The Indians’ top pick in 2012, Tyler Naquin, began the season at Class-A Carolina and batted. 277 with 27 doubles, six triples, nine homers and 69 runs in 108 games. He was promoted to the Double-A Aeros late in the season and batted .225 with three doubles, one homer and nine runs in 18 games.
KUDOS — Aeros left-hander Kyle Crockett was named by the Tribe as its Minor League Player of the Week for making two scoreless relief appearances.
Crockett, 21, was the Indians’ fourth-round pick in this year’s draft out of the University of Virginia.
FARM FACTS — Cole Sulser (3-2, 1.83 ERA) pitched six scoreless innings, allowing one hit, no walks and striking out 10, as Mahoning Valley closed out its season with a 2-0 win over Auburn in Class A.
— Sheldon Ocker