Quick show of hands: How many of us had the Indians sitting a game and a half behind the supposedly invulnerable Tigers at the All-Star break?
So, yeah, here we sit at the “halfway point” of the season, and you’d have to call the season a success so far. It hasn’t been easy at times, but this is a resilient group of guys who do a much better job of maintaining cool when everything appeared flushed down the drain at various points of the season. They do a fantastic job of making your humble narrator look foolish more often than not. I’ve waved the proverbial white flag so often already that I’m surprised I don’t need rotator cuff surgery.
I can’t help it. I remember last August. And you have to admit, it’s probably a minor miracle to sit in a comfortable spot considering they have suffered through an eight-game losing streak already and had the Tigers drop an elbow from the top rope last weekend that, in most seasons, would have proven my pessimism correct.
But they didn’t fold this week. In fact, they were a base hit away from going six straight. The Tigers did all that they could to officially lay claim to this division and the guys got right back up from a standing eight count.
These guys are baseball zombies. They just don’t die. And that bodes well as the guys take a few days to recharge before the home stretch kicks off Friday in Minneapolis.
All that is well and good, but I really want to talk about is…
Danny Salazar. Danny “Cy Young” Salazar. Danny “Walter Johnson” Salazar. Danny “Nolan Ryan” Salazar. President Danny Salazar. King Danny Salazar. Your Majesty Danny Salazar.
DANNY MOTHERLOVIN’ SALAZAR.
I’m driving that bus. I kicked Justin Lada out of the driver’s seat. And hopefully a couple guys on staff took notes in throwing consist and quality strikes (*COUGHCARRASCOCOUGHJIMENEZCOUGH*), because that was as textbook as one could make it. I make no bones about the fact that I’m not as plugged in to the minors as I probably could be, so my expectations for Salazar was to, well, that he’d not embarrass himself.
My hopes just went through the roof with this kid. If Carrasco and Bauer ever figure it out, that is a monster of a future rotation with Masterson, Kluber and McAllister already being pretty stinkin’ solid.
Garza? Sure. But I’d hang up if Salazar is in the discussion. I’d push to send his long-lost cousin, Donny Saladbar, to the Cubbies instead.
(In all seriousness, I’m not sure I’d go hard for either Garza or Gallardo. I’d honestly think about trading Asdrubal to St. Louis for some of their younger arms that we could build around if Antonetti feels he has to make a move. Gallardo would’ve been nice a year ago, but he’s fallen off the productive cliff, and we’ve already gone through that with Jimenez. And Garza will likely command more than the budget will allow in the off-season. Is he worth restocking the Cubs’ system? I’m almost hoping that our “big move” will be a healthy Z-Mac. With maybe another lefty reliever. Other than that, I’m not expecting a busy mid-season hot stove. And if there is a big move, hopefully we get the better end with what we give up. Don’t let Detroit spook you into doing something stupid, Chris. Stay the course. You’ve worked your way back into my good graces. Don’t fudge it up.)
And finally, a word of congratulations for Masterson and Kipnis. Do well. Don’t get hurt and win the danged thing so Game Seven is in our yard if we need it.
Enjoy the next four days off. See ya Friday.