In an eminently welcome development, Indians manager Terry Francona announced today in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM that his club plans to activate right-hander Carlos Carrasco from the injured list when rosters expand on Sunday (Twitter link, with audio). Carrasco has been sidelined since late May after being diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia.
Carrasco, 32, still has to come through one more bullpen session before the club makes the move, per Francona, but the organization’s plan is to reinstate him Sunday. He’ll be utilized out of the bullpen over the season’s final month and into the postseason, should Cleveland qualify.
A return to a general state of well-being for Carrasco obviously supersedes the potential on-field benefit he brings to the club, but the impact of a healthy Carrasco also can’t be understated for the Cleveland organization. Carrasco wasn’t anywhere near his typical form earlier in 2019 but still posted excellent K/BB numbers through 12 starts before stepping away from the game due to his medical situation. He’ll now join the back end of Francona’s bullpen as a potential bullpen weapon with an opportunity to make a significant impact on the Indians’ postseason race; Cleveland currently sits 3.5 games behind Minnesota in the AL Central and holds a half-game lead over Oakland and Tampa Bay in the Wild Card race.
Looking beyond 2019, Carrasco will surely be a focal part of the pitching staff so long as he remains in good health. The right-hander inked an extension last offseason and is signed through the 2022 season at a total of $37.25MM. The Indians also hold a $14MM club option on him for the 2023 season.