Salazar upbeat after black-and-blue outing vs. Reds

Thatcher logs impressive shutout inning; Otero in mix for bullpen spot

Salazar upbeat after black-and-blue outing vs. Reds

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Danny Salazar is being counted on as a key member of the Indians rotation, so Tribe fans probably held their collective breaths when the pitcher absorbed a line drive off his left arm during Thursday's 8-6 loss to the Reds.

In the bottom of the third inning, Reds slugger Joey Votto sent a pitch back up the middle, and it struck Salazar hard on his left forearm. The righty retrieved the ball and retired Votto at first base, but then he threw his glove down in obvious pain. After being checked by a team trainer and manager Terry Francona, Salazar stayed in the game and logged four innings.

"That hit him pretty hard," Francona said. "It was good he was able to stay in and finish, but you kind of take a deep breath, for sure."

Francona added that Salazar "wasn't that worried about" his arm after the incident.

Following his outing, Salazar had a noticeable bruise on the inside of his forearm, but was feeling fortunate that nothing more serious happened. He left Goodyear Ballpark and returned to the team's complex to undergo treatment, but Francona was not sure an X-ray would be necessary.

"I don't even feel my arm right now," said Salazar, who then smiled. "I know I'm going to feel it tonight."

Around the horn
• Veteran lefty Joe Thatcher, who is in camp as a non-roster invitee, logged one shutout inning during Thursday's loss to Cincinnati. This spring, Thatcher has a 1.59 ERA with six strikeouts and no walks in 5 2/3 innings in his audition to win a bullpen job as a lefty specialist. Lefties Tom Gorzelanny, Kyle Crockett and Ross Detwiler are also in the mix.

"He's getting everybody out," Francona said of Thatcher. "He's actually been getting righties out. I think we all admit it's a hard guy to evaluate in Spring Training, but there's so much deception in his delivery. We keep pitching him as much as we can, because we're going to have to make a tough decision here in another 10 days or so, and it's going to be hard."

• Francona has decribed reliever Dan Otero -- acquired from the Phillies over the winter -- as being a "versatile" possibility for the bullpen. The manager believes the right-hander has the potential to log multiple innings, hold runners well, face righties and lefties and handle innings that could help avoid leaning on the top relievers too much.

"I think everything went wrong last year," Francona said of Otero's 2015 showing (6.75 ERA). "He even said it was one of those where he couldn't put his finger on it, but his peripheral numbers weren't all that different than any other year in his career. ... That tells you there's a decent chance he was somewhat unlucky, and he probably didn't pitch as good."

• Indians outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall was held out of the lineup on Wednesday and Thursday due to tightness in his right forearm. Francona said he might keep Chisenhall out of the mix until Sunday, allowing the right fielder to skip the night game on Saturday against the Cubs.

• Indians third baseman Juan Uribe remains in the Dominican Republic, where he is in the process of obtaining a proper work visa. Cleveland is expecting to have more information on that situation in the coming days.

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