CLEVELAND -- The Indians made a gutsy decision to bring highly-touted rookie Danny Salazar up from Triple-A Columbus to start against the Tigers on Wednesday.
Prior to Monday's series opener with Detroit, Indians manager Terry Francona was asked if the move to call up Salazar was a sign that there is a sense of urgency surrounding the four-game set against the American League-leading Tigers.
"Maybe a little bit," Francona said. "He has been pitching very well, so competitively it should help us."
On Sunday in Miami, the Indians announced the move, which will require a subsequent transaction on either Tuesday or Wednesday to add Salazar to the active roster. Salazar will slide into the rotation slot formerly held by Ubaldo Jimenez, who is now scheduled to start on Friday against the Angels. Jimenez has posted a 6.92 ERA against Detroit this season.
Salazar, 23, made a spot start for the Indians on July 11 and held the Blue Jays to one run on two hits, ending with seven strikeouts and one walk. On Friday, Salazar logged five no-hit innings against Triple-A Buffalo, but he was pulled from the game after 52 pitches.
Salazar has gone 6-5 with a 2.71 ERA this season, holding batters to a .211 average over 93 innings between Columbus and Double-A Akron. He has piled up 129 strikeouts, turning in a rate of 12.5 strikeouts per nine innings.
Along the way, the Indians have closely monitored Salazar's innings, considering he underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in 2010.
"We thought it was a good time," Francona said. "We're trying to balance Danny's innings, competitiveness, things like that, and we wanted to get to a point where we didn't have to bring Danny [up] and mess his innings up. Our player development staff has done such a good job, where now we can bring him up, he doesn't have to pitch three or four innings and we don't have to go to the bullpen."