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Indians cautious with Salazar's workload

Indians cautious with Salazar's workload


ANAHEIM -- Danny Salazar trusts the Indians when it comes to how the team has handled his workload this season.

During Tuesday's 4-1, 14-inning victory over the Angels, the 23-year-old Salazar was lifted from the game by manager Terry Francona after throwing only 75 pitches in 5 1/3 innings. As a competitor, Salazar would keep throwing as long as allowed, but the righty knows why Cleveland is being careful.

"I have a limit for pitching innings for this year," said Salazar. "They're saving me, saving my arm so I can be fine for pitching in September. Sometimes I want to keep going in the game, because I feel good, but he's the manager, and I understand it."

It marked the second start in a row that Salazar was pulled at 75 or fewer pitches. During the right-hander's outing against the Twins on Aug. 12, Francona turned to the bullpen after Salazar reached 71 pitches through four innings.

"I kind of have a responsibility to him and the organization to handle this appropriately," Francona said. "It's hard -- it is -- but I'm not saying it's bad. We talk about it before the game."

Salazar underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in 2010 and has seen his yearly innings advance from 14 2/3 in 2011 to 87 2/3 in '12 and a career-high 116 this season, between the Minors and Majors. In his second big league start, Salazar logged a season-high 103 pitches against the Tigers on Aug. 7 after averaging 70 pitches per outing throughout 21 Minor League appearances earlier in the year.

"I think that was the first time in my life," said Salazar, referring to exceeding 100 pitches. "I was sore, but the next day I got some treatment, a massage, and I was good again."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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