TODAY: Carrasco is expected to be out for four to six weeks, the club has announced. Obviously, that’s just an estimate for an injury that will require quite a bit of careful monitoring, but it seems relatively promising news.
Cleveland has also activated outfielder Michael Brantley, who had opened the year on the DL.
YESTERDAY: Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco exited his start in Detroit on Sunday with a left hamstring injury and will be placed on the disabled list as a result, manager Terry Francona said (Twitter link via Zack Meisel of cleveland.com). Carrasco will return to Cleveland for an MRI to determine the severity of the injury.
Carrasco suffered the injury while running to cover first base on a ground ball during the third inning of the Indians’ 6-3 victory. He pulled up in pain before reaching the bag and grabbed the back of his leg, and had to be helped off the field, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. Trevor Bauer then replaced Carrasco, and Bauer figures to take the now-vacant spot in Cleveland’s rotation. The former top prospect threw 329 frames of 4.38 ERA ball as a starter for the Indians from 2014-15 before shifting to the bullpen prior to this season. He tossed 3 1/3 innings and yielded two earned runs Sunday.
Regardless of how long he’s out, the loss of Carrasco represents a significant blow to the Indians’ pitching staff. Carrasco has emerged as one of baseball’s top starters over the last two-plus years, having put up a 3.15 ERA/2.79 FIP/2.70 xFIP with an outstanding 51.5 percent ground-ball rate in 337 innings since 2014. Carrasco ranks sixth among all starters in K/9 during that time frame (9.99) and has shown great control with a 2.06 BB/9. Along with Corey Kluber and Danny Salazar, he has given the Indians a premier triumvirate of starters.
Carrasco was off to another strong start this season with a 2.45 ERA in 22 innings prior to the injury, though FIP wasn’t as bullish on him as usual (4.31) and his 8.18 K/9 is lower than it has been in recent years. However, the 29-year-old has thus far posted a stellar 3.31 xFIP while continuing to limit walks (2.05 BB/9).