If there’s ONE player who could single-handedly create a headache (maybe even a nightmare) for the Red Sox in the ALDS, it might be Danny Salazar. His fastball averages 96 mph. (Thank you, FanGraphs.) Salazar’s sizzler often hits 100. Combine that with a cutter (88 mph), slider (86 mph) and change (85 mph) and it’s hardly surprising the rookie right-hander has a K/BB ratio of 65/15 and a WHIP of 1.13
Here’s where you can thank former Red Sox manager Terry Francona. The Indians skipper has named Salazar the starting pitching for the winner of the Rays-Rangers play-in-to-the-play-in game. So, it looks like the Red Sox would only have to face Salazar once.
But with just 10 (that’s right ten) MLB starts under his belt, the scouting book on Salazar will be thin. Potentially scarier is that the Rays, Rangers and Red Sox have never faced Salazar. Not once.
The only player on the Red Sox roster this year who’s had at-bats against Salazar is Jose Iglesias. He went 1-for-5, all in a Tigers uniform.
Should the Indians win on Wednesday, the Red Sox will have video, charts and scouting reports to study before stepping into the batters box against Salazar perhaps as soon as October 7th, ALDS game #3…in Cleveland.