|Free Agent — No. --|
|Born: November 17, 1978
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
|Bats: Left||Throws: Left|
|September 5, 2006 for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays|
|Earned run average||4.44|
Juan Salas (born November 17, 1978 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) is a professional baseball relief pitcher who is currently a free agent. Salas signed with Tampa Bay on July 8, 1998, as an amateur free agent, and made his Major League debut September 5, 2006.
Salas is notable for being converted from playing third base to pitching while in the Devil Rays' minor league system. Salas became a pitcher in the 2004 season and had a 1-0 record and 4.82 ERA for the Rookie-Level Princeton Devil Rays. He split the 2005 season between the High-A Visalia Oaks and the Double-A Montgomery Biscuits.
The 2006 season was the breakout year in Salas' minor-league career; he gave up no earned runs in 23 games for Montgomery, earned 14 saves, and struck out 52 batters in 34 2/3 innings. This earned him an appearance in the 2006 All-Star Futures Game for the World Team. He was called up to the Triple-A Durham Bulls, with whom he went 1-1 with a 1.57 ERA and three saves in 27 games, striking out 33 batters in 28 2/3 innings. The Devil Rays then called him up to help out their bullpen; he made eight appearances with Tampa Bay in the 2006 season and won a roster spot out of spring training with the Devil Rays in 2007. In 2007, he went 1-1 with a 3.95 ERA in 12 games and was suspended in May for 50 games for using performance-enhancing drugs. To take his place on the roster, the Devil Rays recalled Tim Corcoran from Durham.
Salas started the 2008 season on the restricted list due to problems obtaining a visa to come to the United States. He missed spring training and did not arrive in the United States until April 17, 2008, several weeks after the 2008 MLB season started. He reported to the Triple-A Durham Bulls for a rehab assignment beginning May 9.