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Carmona's 2011 nosedive leaves his 2012 destination in doubt

The Sports Xchange

The Indians' late-season pitching woes and Fausto Carmona's season-long woes both continued Thursday night as Cleveland lost 7-4 at Texas, with the Rangers completing a three-game sweep.

It was a series in which the Indians' staff was roughed up from start to finish.

Texas scored 26 total runs, posting big innings in all three games. The Rangers had a four-run sixth inning in their 10-4 win in the opener. They used an eight-run fourth inning to win the second game 9-1.

On Thursday, the Rangers had a five-run fifth inning to take command in their 7-4 win. That explosion came off Carmona, whose season started out in chaos, and isn't ending much better.

On opening day, Carmona gave up 10 runs on 11 hits in three innings during a 15-10 loss to the White Sox. In his four September starts, Carmona is 0-3 with an 8.68 ERA.

For the season overall, Carmona is 6-15 with a 5.26 ERA. His poor year comes at a bad time for him. The Indians hold a $7 million club option on Carmona for 2012, but whether the team will exercise that option is uncertain.

The best argument for the Indians to pick up the option is that their starting pitching depth for next year could be a problem. They traded away both of their top two pitching prospects, Drew Pomeranz and Alex White, in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade. They also lost Carlos Carrasco for 2012 after the right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery on Wednesday.

Josh Tomlin, who leads the team with 12 wins, has been on the disabled list since Aug. 26 with a sore right elbow.

Carmona has lost a combined 29 games the past two seasons, but he still might be one of the Indians' top options for next year, even at an inflated price.

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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