Found April 09, 2013 on
Fox Sports Ohio:
Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays
New York Yankees
By Tony LastoriaSpecial to FOXSportsOhio.com
That is the time that has passed since Cleveland Indians right-handed starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco last made a start in a Major League game.
That last start came on August 3, 2011 when he went 7.0 strong innings allowing three runs against the Red Sox only to find out a few days later he had torn the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The injury resulted in ligament transplant surgery more commonly known as Tommy John surgery and kept him out of action the rest of the 2011 season and all of last season as well.
Now healthy, the 26-year old Carrasco is scheduled to make his season debut tonight against the New York Yankees in the second game of the Indians home opening four-game series.
The game will mark the first meaningful appearance Carrasco has made since that last start 615 days ago. Sure, he made a few starts in spring training this year and late last season he also pitched a few innings for Double-A Akron in the playoffs, but this is his first real start in almost two years.
Back before Carrasco got hurt he was establishing himself as a core piece of the starting rotation. He only made 21 starts in 2011 and was 8-9 with a 4.62 ERA, but he had a stretch of seven starts from May 28th to June 29th that year where he went 5-2 with a 2.03 ERA. He struggled in July probably a precursor to his elbow injury which was about to happen or may have already happened but he had no doubt established himself as a mainstay in the rotation for the foreseeable future.
Carrasco will now need to prove himself again.
It's acknowledged that Carrasco is very talented. He sports a mid-90s fastball that has been up to 97 MPH and has two good secondary offerings with his changeup and curveball. He pitches around the zone, can get a strikeout, and has long been considered one of the better young pitchers in the game.
But coming off of such a major injury that requires so much time away from the game, it may take some time for Carrasco to get his full feel for pitching back. As is often the case with pitchers that are coming back from Tommy John surgery, command may be the last thing to return. This means that struggles in the early going should be expectedfrom him as he finds his way back.
In an ideal situation, Carrasco probably would have been best served to make his first few starts of the 2013 season at Triple-A Columbus. The lower-pressure environment of pitching in the minor leagues would allow him to more easily work his way back into things.
But sometimes the best made plans are laid to waste, and that was the case when lefty Scott Kazmir came up lame last week and had to be placed on the disabled list. The injury meant that the Indians had to change those plans and have Carrasco come up and fill a spot in the rotation while Kazmir is out.
But sometimes these things have a way or working out for the better.
If Carrasco is close to his old self, he could be ready to help an Indians rotation in big need of a starter that can bring some consistency to it. At the moment, the plan is to have him only make two starts and by the time his third start comes up Kazmir should be ready to come off disabled list.
But what if Carrasco is sensational in his two starts? What if Brett Myers continues to struggle in his next two or three starts? What if another injury crops up?
Just like the plan to have Carrasco and Trevor Bauer open the season in the minors went to waste, the same could happen if any of the above questions is answered in the affirmative during the next two weeks.
Sometimes early season injuries such as the one to Kazmir can have a major impact on a roster as it opens the door for another unheralded player to come in and take the roster by storm.
Go back to 2007 when the Indians lost lefty Cliff Lee to a right abdominal strain right before the start of that season. The Indians had to turn to righty Fausto Carmona (Roberto Hernandez) to replace Lee in the rotation. Lee did not return to the rotation that year until early May, but by then Carmona had more than established himself and the Indians had to leave him in there.
Carmona went on to go 19-8 with a 3.06 ERA that season and finished fourth in the American League CY Young voting. Again, it was a completely out of nowhere showing for a pitcher who was the sixth starter for the organization going into the season and was set to open at Triple-A Buffalo. But an injury created an opportunity for him and he seized it.
Whether or not Carrasco seizes that opportunity remains to be seen as the situation is a little different. Carrasco is coming off of an injury while Carmona was not. That said, there are interesting similarities as at 26-years of age Carrasco is the same age as Carmona was in 2007. Both were had the pedigree as former top level right-handed starting pitching prospects. Also, both have battled the same demons with their lack of focus and mental toughness on the mound over their careers.
Tonight, Carlos Carrasco has a chance to shake the cob webs loose in a real game and give the organization more confidence in keeping him around longer in Cleveland. He is a big part of the Indians future rotation, and after a 610-day absence has a chance to make the Indians think twice about when that future arrives.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
As Matt Dery pointed out on Twitter, the most interesting thing about this video is Rick Manning not falling for Carrasco’s fake tripping routine and nearly admonishing him for doing what got him suspended last time.
“He didn’t fall down. That was intentional,” Manning said.
See it for yourself.
In the end, the umpire might have done him a favor as Carrasco gave up 7 runs...
Your browser does not support iframes.
Cleveland Indians pitcher Carlos Carrosco was ejected from Tuesday's game at Progressive Field after he drilled New York Yankees batter Kevin Youkilis with a pitch immediately after giving up a home run to Robinson Cano.
It happened in the top of the fourth inning after Cano's home run gave the Yankees a 7-0 lead. Carrosco threw...
Indians starter Carlos Carrasco has been ejected in the fourth inning after hitting Kevin Youkilis in the shoulder with a pitch.
Carrasco, who recently finished serving a five-game suspension for throwing at Kansas City's Billy Butler in 2011, had just given up a homer to Robinson Cano, giving the New York Yankees a 7-0 lead Tuesday night, when he drilled Youkilis with his next...
During Tuesday's Yankees-Indians game, Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco was ejected in his first start since August 3, 2011 for throwing at the head of Yankees third baseman Kevin Youkilis. Carrasco was ejected in the fourth inning, and threw at Youkilis the pitch after Robinson Cano hit a two-run homer to give the Yankees a 7-0 lead. The ironic part is that Carrasco served...
Cleveland, OH — After working out of early trouble in the first, Cleveland Indians starter Carlos Carrasco gave up seven runs before being ejected in the top of the fourth as the Indians lost their second straight game to the Yankees, 14-1.
After Ichiro Suzuki grounded into a double play in the top of the second, Eduardo Nunez and Lyle Overbay hit back-to-back singles off Carrasco...
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Indians manager Terry Francona hopes Carlos Carrasco can duck another suspension.
Carrasco, who just finished serving a five-game suspension for throwing at a player in 2011, is facing further discipline after he was ejected in the fourth inning Tuesday for hitting New York's Kevin Youkilis in the left shoulder -- one pitch after giving up a two-run homer to...
Carlos Carrasco hasn’t pitched in a Major League game since 2011. After allowing a grand slam against the Royals, he threw at the head of Billy Bulter and was tossed and suspended for 5-games. However, he did not serve it … Continue reading →
Not Exactly How I Planned To Start The Season
At 6:30 when I was on my way to Progressive Field for my first live Indians game of the season, I couldn’t be more excited. By 9:30 that night, however, when the Yankees were beating my beloved Tribe 14-1 and “Let’s go Yankees!” chants from the New York fans in attendance was nauseatingly audible above the normal chatter of the...
CLEVELAND -- The only thing that kept the Indians from using their seventh starting pitcher in their first nine games Wednesday night was rain.A deluge and a postponement means the Indians have used six starters in eight games.Since the afternoon of opening day, the Indians have called up Trevor Bauer and sent down Trevor Bauer. Theyve started Carlos Carrasco, then sent down Carlos...
The Indians will send right-hander Corey Kluber to the mound to try and stop the bleeding for Cleveland’s starting pitchers against New York. Kluber will be added to the active roster following Carlos Carrasco’s meltdown last night which ended with Carrasco plunking Kevin Youkilis immediately after giving up a home run to Robinson Cano.
RHP COREY KLUBER will start (2013 debut...
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Robinson Cano hit one of New York's five homers and drove in five runs, Andy Pettitte pitched seven solid innings and the Yankees romped to a 14-1 win Tuesday night over the Cleveland Indians, who had starter Carlos Carrasco ejected from his first appearance since 2011.
The 40-year-old Pettitte (2-0) allowed one run and five hits in his second strong start....
I am not one to panic. Especially with 150-plus games left on the schedule. The hot starts for the Tribe the last two years resulted in nothing. But obviously you would like to see the lesser parts of your team do well early to give them confidence as the season starts to build.
It was no secret that the weak link of the 2013 Cleveland Indians would be their starting rotation. All...
Corey Kluber will make an emergency start for the Indians, whose rotation got thrown out whack following Carlos Carrasco's ejection for hitting New York's Kevin Youkilis with a pitch.
Kluber will make his season debut on Wednesday night against the Yankees, who thrashed the Indians 14-1 on Tuesday. In the fourth inning, Carrasco was ejected after he nailed Youkilis with...
Robinson Cano hit one of New York's five homers and drove in five runs, Andy Pettitte pitched seven solid innings and the Yankees romped to a 14-1 win Tuesday night over the Cleveland Indians, who had starter Carlos Carrasco ejected from his first appearance since 2011.
The 40-year-old Pettitte (2-0) allowed one run and five hits in his second strong start.
Cano hit a two-run...
I can’t help but shake my head while sitting here during the opening home series here at Progressive Field.
The Cleveland Indians are 3-5 and two games out of first on April 10th, and to listen to the general populace that surround the Indians, you would think that the season ended yesterday after another 100-loss season.
Sure, things could be better. The pitching staff looks like...