Juan Salas

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Juan Salas

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Biographical Information[edit]

Juan Salas pitched for parts of three seasons in the majors.

Salas was signed by scout Rudy Santin for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as an amateur free agent in 1998. He debuted in 1999 with the Princeton Devil Rays, hitting .259/~.305/.337 as a utility infielder. He split 2000 between the Hudson Valley Renegades (.268/.344/.385, 16 doubles in 231 AB) and the Charleston RiverDogs (.241/.270/.305 in 60 games) as a regular option at third base. In 2001, Juan struggled with Charleston, only hitting .228/.255/.332 with 93 strikeouts and 17 walks in 500 AB and 15 times caught stealing in 24 tries.

Salas fared well with the 2002 Bakersfield Blaze, batting .323/.349/.419. Had he qualified, he would have been thirdi n the California League in average. The Dominican third sacker split 2003 between Bakersfield (.321/.365/.511 in 37 games) and the Orlando Rays (.272/.297/.348 in 75 games).

In 2004, Juan spent all year at AA, producing at a .246/.277/.345 clip for the Montgomery Biscuits and fielded .938 in 78 games at third. He only drew 9 walks.

Salas moved to the mound in 2005. He split the season between Montgomery (1-0, 3.68 in 15 games) and the Visalia Oaks (2-1, 1 Sv, 3.52, 47 K in 38 1/3 IP).

Juan was even sharper in 2006. In 35 innings for Montgomery, he allowed no earned runs (four runs total) and only 13 hits while striking out 52. He was 3-0 with 14 saves in 23 games. With the Durham Bulls, Salas went 1-1 with 3 saves and a 1.57 ERA, allowing a .149 average with 10.36 K/9. He debuted in the majors, with 8 games for the Devil Rays (0-0, 5.40). He faced one batter in the 2006 Futures Game and retired him. Baseball America rated him the #18 prospect in the Southern League and the best reliever. Overall, his .128 opponent average was second-lowest among minor leagues behind Troy Cate's .127.

Salas was 1-1 with a 3.95 ERA in his first 15 games for the Devil Rays in 2007 before he was suspended for 50 games for a positive test for a banned substance. He was the first major leaguer suspended for a positive drug test that year. He finished the season 1-1 with a 3.72 ERA in 34 outings. He played in 2008 for the re-named Tampa Bay Rays (5 R in 6 1/3 IP) and also for Durham (4-5, Sv, 2.62 in 28 G, 53 K in 44 2/3 IP). Tampa Bay traded him to the Cleveland Indians for Isaias Velasquez after the season. In 2009, he pitched briefly for the AZL Indians (3 R in 3 1/3 IP) and Columbus Clippers (0 R in 1 IP), with three stints on the Disabled List ending his career.

Overall, Salas was 1-1 with a 4.44 ERA in 47 major league games; in 52 2/3 IP, he had 54 hits, 24 walks and 42 strikeouts. In the minors, he had gone 13-7 with 20 saves and a 2.62 ERA in 140 contests as a pitcher, with 139 hits, 80 walks and 230 strikeouts in 192 innings. He had hit .264/.296/.361 in 682 games.

Sources: 2000-2007 Baseball Almanacs, MLB.com

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