The final numbers for Carlos Carrasco look well and good, but his owners were left wondering; what might have been? Carrasco missed more than month after suffering a hamstring strain in his fourth start of the season, and a non-displaced hand fracture ended his season prematurely in September. He wasn't quite as dominant when on the mound, as his strikeout rate fell from 29.6 percent to 25.0 percent, while his hard-hit and HR/9 rates leaped considerably (to 36.4 percent and 1.29, respectively). His fastball and slider velocity averages were down a tick overall from 2015, but Carrasco regained some of those losses late in the year. Further, his walk and groundball rates remain excellent, and his strikeout rate was still strong for a starting pitcher. If he can stay healthy and reduce the amount of hard contact allowed, Carrasco could return to borderline ace status.
Carrasco will receive a heavy workload in the upcoming Cactus League, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. Carrasco missed the postseason after sustaining a fractured right hand last September. Due to the time missed down the stretch, combined with the righty's stint on the disabled list between May and June (left hamstring), Carrasco was limited to 146.1 innings in 2016. This spring, Cleveland plans on being aggressive with Carrasco's Cactus League workload. Manager Terry Francona said the plan will be to ramp up his innings quickly to make up for lost time. "You'll probably see him lead our team in innings [this spring]," Francona mentioned. This latest development is a shift from the cautious approach the team was originally scheduled to take with the 29-year-old, but it sure sounds like fantasy owners will get a good look before deciding whether or not to invest in Carrasco this season.
Carrasco could see around 30 innings during spring training, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. The 29-year-old righty was experiencing arguably his best major league season in 2016 prior to breaking his hand, but he is apparently completely healthy now and ready to get back into action. That being said, the Indians seem to be taking a more cautious approach with him, as an inning limit should keep him healthy and in line to play a big part as Cleveland attempts to repeat as American League champions.
Carrasco (hand) said Monday that he's been throwing for two weeks and is "100 percent right now," Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. The right-hander has been working back from a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metacarpal on his right hand, but should be considered fully healthy going forward. The plan is for Corrasco to continue working out on his own through the end of January, after which he'll report to the team's facility in Arizona.
Carrasco (hand) will resume throwing in December and is expected to be on a normal offseason throwing program. Carrasco's original timetable had him lined up to begin throwing toward the end of November, although this slight alteration shouldn't affect his availability when spring training rolls around. The right-hander is expected to jump right back into a prominent position in the Indians rotation.
Carrasco (hand) shed his cast Monday and expects to begin throwing in about six weeks, Anthony Castrovince of MLB reports. Carrasco is definitely out for the rest of the postseason no matter how far the Indians go, but this timetable should have the right-hander easily back in time for the start of spring training.