TORONTO -- Before this season started, the Indians informed Danny Salazar that there might be times he is given extra days of rest in order to keep other starters on their regular schedules. Such a situation came up this week for the three-game series in Toronto.
With a team off-day on Monday, Cleveland pushed Salazar's start to Thursday, giving the 24-year-old right-hander seven days of rest between outings. By doing that, the Indians were able to keep Justin Masterson (Tuesday's starter) and Corey Kluber (Wednesday) on a normal five-day schedule.
"I've got some extra days to work on things that I need to work on," Salazar said on Tuesday. "I think that's fine. They told me that sometimes, if we have a day off like that, especially with Masterson, they might move me. It doesn't bother me."
This will mark the fourth time this season -- half of Salazar's starts -- that he will pitch with more than the typical four days of rest. It will be the third time that the righty takes the mound with at least six days off between starts.
Salazar has shown improvement of late, going 1-0 with a 3.44 ERA in his past three starts, in which he has 21 strikeouts, five walks and a .669 opponents' OPS in 18 1/3 innings. In his first four starts of the season, Salazar went 0-3 with a 7.85 ERA, posting 23 strikeouts, 10 walks and a 1.036 opponents' OPS in 18 1/3 innings. He has thrown 63 percent strikes in his past three outings, compared to 59 percent in those first four turns.
The Indians were conservative with Salazar's innings last season and the club eased him into things throughout this past Spring Training as well. Salazar does not feel the extra days off are due to his workload, but simply a way to keep some of the more veteran starters on their typical five-day program.
"I don't think it's so much that," Salazar said of Cleveland's history of protecting his innings. "They just want to get the other guys in line."
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.