That confidence hasn't since waned, not even after Matheny had to summon additional bullpen help when Salas couldn't get through an inning of work on Saturday.
Salas, who is expected to be the Cardinals' primary eighth-inning setup man, allowed a home run and two doubles in the five-batter appearance against the Brewers. In between, he recorded a pair of strikeouts.
"He's a guy that controls the plate with the fastball," Matheny said. "He was falling behind, and that's just not something that he usually does. I don't think it's something that he's going to do for very long. He's still, to me, he's one of those guys who I know we can count on in tough situations."
Salas did get ahead, 1-2, against two of the first three batters he faced, but both eventually worked the count full before recording a hit. Salas went to a three-ball count against the first three hitters of the inning.
This outing came on the heels of a season debut in which Salas surrendered a two-out RBI double. He allowed four runs on 10 hits in eight innings during Spring Training, which he had interrupted by the birth of his son and a brief illness. Both caused some disruption in Salas' schedule.