6/4/2014 9:14 P.M. ET
Improved mechanics help Hagadone find success
By Alec Shirkey / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- The pressure was put on Nick Hagadone early Tuesday night, but an improvement in his throwing motion helped him overpower opposing batters and make it out of the game unscathed.
In his first appearance since being called up from Triple-A Columbus, the lefty reliever had inherited a pair of baserunners in the seventh inning of a tie game. He answered by striking out the final two batters of the inning to escape the jam, and wound up earning the win against the Red Sox.
In all, Hagadone fanned three batters over 1 1/3 scoreless innings in the Indians' 5-3 victory.
The most notable adjustment made to Hagadone's delivery, he says, was adding more "athleticism" by cutting down on excess movement and keeping his arm at a lower angle at the top of his pitches.
"That allows me to just be more fluid and consistent with my arm," he said.
Two of the three strikeouts in his last outing came on his slider, which he says has improved and subsequently fueled much of his recent success between Cleveland and Columbus.
"In Spring Training, I couldn't throw [my slider] for strikes, and the hitters knew it right out of my hand," Hagadone said. "That's one of the things -- with the adjustments to my mechanics -- it helped my breaking ball. The focus wasn't to make my breaking ball better, but that was kind of a benefit of changing my mechanics."
After missing out on a final roster spot at the end of Spring Training, the 25-year-old Hagadone was 2-3 with a 3.09 ERA, striking out 35 batters in 23 1/3 innings for Columbus.
"I think it was the perfect time to call him up," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He felt really good about himself. Everybody that had seen him pitch felt really good about where he was. In an ideal world, you maybe get him in a less of a leveraged situation. ... But he did a [heck] of a job [on Tuesday night]. It wasn't luck."
Triceps strain sends Salazar to DL in Triple-A
CLEVELAND -- Danny Salazar's season has hit another roadblock, ableit a small one.
On Wednesday, the Columbus Clippers announced that the right-hander has been placed on the disabled list with what was announced as a right triceps strain. The team also recognized that Salazar has been dealing with minor elbow inflammation, but it does not consider the injury to be a serious one.
"If he was with [the Indians], he would've pitched," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Missing one start while he can work on some mechanical things, flush that out of there, just so it doesn't become a nuisance. It's nothing structural."
Salazar has gone 0-3 with a 7.11 ERA in three appearances since he was optioned to the Indians' Triple-A affiliate on May 16. However, Francona doesn't believe those numbers were affected by any lingering discomfort.
The 23-year-old Salazar's most recent setback comes after putting up a 5.53 ERA in eight starts with the Tribe this season. The team sent the struggling righty to the Minors, calling up right-hander Trevor Bauer to take his place in the rotation, with the hope that Salazar can correct his delivery and rework some of his mechanics.
"It wasn't so much the height of his lead arm," Francona said. "It's what it was doing to everything else. He was kind of rocking and wasn't driving off that back leg."
Salazar posted a 3.12 ERA with the Indians last season, striking out 65 across 52 innings pitched.
Manziel tours Progressive Field, hangs with Tribe
CLEVELAND -- Not even the rain was able to quell Johnny Manziel mania.
"We can't not have the game today, Johnny's throwing out the first pitch," one Indians player shouted across the clubhouse.
Manziel -- the well-known NFL first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns and former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback at Texas A&M -- was scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch during the Tribe's Wednesday night contest with the Red Sox. After a rain delay of nearly two hours at Progressive Field, the first pitch was canceled, and Johnny Football never picked up a baseball.
But that didn't keep Tribe fans from expressing their zeal for Manziel. Both he and fellow Browns first-round pick Justin Gilbert were introduced to the crowd about 30 minutes before the game, and those in the stands responded with cheers and chants of "Johnny."
Manziel and Gilbert also toured the clubhouse and batting cages, meeting several members of the Tribe along the way. Right-hander Josh Tomlin gave both football players tips on their pitching.
The young Browns quarterback, however, is no stranger to the baseball diamond. He was a middle infielder for his high school team and would have played in college had he not chosen to focus on football. He even followed the Tribe in his younger days.
"The Indians were always our team growing up," Manziel told the team, "and when I moved to Kerrville [Texas] in middle school, that was our team again."
As for the Indians' players, several of them were excited to welcome a fellow athlete who has excelled in his respective sport. Outfielder David Murphy, who saw Manziel throw out the first pitch at the Rangers' home opener last season, said he was looking forward to meeting him before the game.
"Everybody knows who he is, everybody knows what he's done. It's always cool when somebody shows up to throw out the first pitch," Murphy said. "More than anything, just welcome him to the city of Cleveland, get to know him."
Quote to note
"His command, stuff, intelligence, competitiveness, confidence. You add that up, knowing that he belongs, knowing when he doesn't make a pitch, he can reel it back in and gather himself. The only thing Klubes hasn't done is accumulate over a period of time. That's not his fault. He will do that." -- Francona, on Corey Kluber's success this season
• Zach McAllister's (back) rehab start with Class A Lake County on Wednesday night was pushed to Thursday due to rain. The right-hander also is expected make a second Minor League start, as well -- likely for a higher-level team such as Columbus or Double-A Akron.
"I just want to see health, and want to see some of the things he's working on," Francona said. "Throwing the ball downhill, getting back to the things he's done well. He's facing a younger lineup, so stats may not be the important thing. But the way he throws, the way he goes about his business, is what we're looking for."
• Three members of the Class A Advanced Carolina Mudcats were named to this year's Carolina League All-Star team. Shortstop Erik Gonzalez, outfielder Anthony Gallas and lefty pitcher Ryan Merritt will all represent the team in Wilmington, Del., on June 17. Gonzalez leads the Mudcats with a .304 batting average through 41 games this season.
Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.