Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco exited the club’s game Wednesday after taking a line drive off his left foot, Paul Hoynes of cleveland.com reports. Carrasco is now dealing with a contusion, and the Indians will further evaluate the star hurler Thursday, Hoynes tweets. In the event Carrasco misses regular-season time as a result of the injury, it could help open the door for the out-of-options Ryan Merritt to claim a roster spot, at least temporarily. Merritt and Josh Tomlin have been vying for the fifth spot in the Indians’ rotation this spring. Now, with Carrasco potentially injured and Danny Salazar set to miss the beginning of the year, the only sure things for the Indians’ season-opening starting staff appear to be Kluber, Trevor Bauer and Mike Clevinger (depth chart).
- In better news for the Indians, left fielder Michael Brantley isn’t ruling himself out for Opening Day (via Hoynes). “We shall see. But the old saying is take it one day at a time,” said Brantley, who’s working his way back from the right ankle surgery he underwent last October. Neither that procedure nor Brantley’s lack of availability from 2016-17, when injuries cost him a combined 223 games, were enough to stop the Tribe from exercising his $12MM club option early in the offseason. The 30-year-old appeared in 90 games in 2017 and slashed a solid .299/.357/.444 over 375 plate appearances.
- General manager Jerry Dipoto admitted to Greg Johns of MLB.com and other reporters Wednesday that David Phelps’ season-ending injury is a serious blow to the Mariners’ bullpen. “There’s no way to sugarcoat it. He’s a big piece of what we’re doing here, and it’s a big loss for us,” said Dipoto, who suggested the Mariners could pick up outside help for their bullpen, which also lost Tony Zych earlier this spring and is currently without the injured Nick Rumbelow. “You know you’ll run into an occasional injury and lose players along the way, but to have three in that time span is tough to deal with,” Dipoto said. “Fortunately were at the time of year when players are a little more accessible.” The Mariners have three open spots on their 40-man roster, Johns points out, giving them room to add relievers.
- The Yankees and Red Sox are nearing a deal to play a two-game series in London during the 2019 regular season, according to Janet Paskin and Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg. The series would take place at London Stadium, which hosted the 2012 Olympics, in what would be the first-ever Major League Baseball action in Europe.