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, making his first spring appearance since experiencing elbow discomfort during his start on Mar. 13, tossed three scoreless innings, allowing one hit and two walks while striking out two in Friday's Cactus League game against the Cubs. The Cubs deployed a somewhat make-shift lineup, but the importance of Carrasco's smooth performance shouldn't be understated. Health has been the righty's biggest foe over the past year, and he received a huge scare earlier in camp when his throwing elbow flared up. However, he appears to be back on track and feels confident there's nothing to worry about moving forward. Over the next 10 days, the Indians will need to decide how to handle Carrasco's comeback in terms of the rotation alignment. Due to early-season off-days, manager Terry Francona has the option of not using a fifth starter until Apr. 15. If the club feels Carrasco needs more time to get his innings and pitch count built up, he could be slotted in the back of the rotation.
Carrasco (elbow) successfully completed a minor league outing Monday and is aiming to make his next Cactus League start March 24 against the Cubs, Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com reports. Carrasco fired his full arsenal in a controlled 33-pitch minor league game Monday against the Reds' Triple-A affiliate. The righty's fastball sat appropriately at 92-93 mph throughout the outing. After the appearance, Carrasco said that he felt confident in how he threw and was relieved his recent elbow swelling was just a scare. "My last game, I was trying to throw my breaking pitches, and I couldn't," Carrasco said. "My changeup was good today. My curveball, slider, everything felt fine," he said. Barring any setbacks, Carrasco is scheduled to make his next Cactus League appearance on Friday. If the right-hander continues to progress without issues, there is still a chance he could slot in behind ace Corey Kluber as the Tribe's No. 2 starter.
To update an earlier report, Carrasco (elbow) completed a bullpen session Saturday and will make a minor league spring training start Monday, with his major league start scheduled for Friday, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. It was previously reported that Carrasco's bullpen session was scheduled for Sunday. The news remains encouraging and Carrasco appears to be on pace to be ready for the start of the big league season.
Carrasco (elbow) will throw a bullpen session Sunday and is scheduled to make his next start on Friday, March 24, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. Carrasco was diagnosed with elbow swelling on Tuesday and was expected to miss his next start. He began playing catch on Thursday and is feeling well enough to throw a bullpen session Sunday. Barring any setbacks, it appears that the 29-year-old will be ready for the regular season.
Carrasco (elbow) is feeling good and was cleared to play catch Thursday, according to Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. Carrasco is slated to throw in a minor league or simulated game in the coming days, unless he suffers a setback. It's mildly good news for the right-hander with swelling in his throwing elbow, though fantasy owners should monitor his progress before considering him in drafts. Luckily, caution may put him on track to miss only minimal, if any, regular-season time, considering tests didn't reveal structural damage, according to manager Terry Francona. Still, for all the wondrous skills Carrasco displays when on the mound, his injury-laden past should prompt caution when bidding on him.