Back in May of 2019, the Cleveland Indians suffered quite the morale boost when starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco was diagnosed with leukemia. Carrasco, known as one of the more prominent players in the Indians clubhouse had to be put on the Injured List (IL) for the long term as he underwent treatment.
The initial physical took place in Spring Training, which showed some abnormal blood tests, which prompted the further look into Carrasco’s health. May 30th of 2019 was Carrasco’s last appearance in a game against the Chicago White Sox. Carrasco has worked incredibly hard to get back to where he is now; he knows the Indians team is more than excited to have him suiting back up again.
After a long and scary journey, Carlos Carrasco will be activated on Sunday.
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) August 28, 2019
After some rehab stints, some bullpen sessions, and plenty of treatment, Carrasco is heading back to the Indians roster. Indians manager Terry Francona said that Carrasco is reportedly going to join the team again September 1st, where he will be slotted in the bullpen. The ongoing plan will be to deploy Carrasco out of the bullpen for the remainder of this season.
The thirty-two-year-old Carrasco has worked incredibly hard to get back to where he is, and the Indians team is only going to be better off with his morale boost and clubhouse presence. Nicknamed “Cookie,” Carrasco has been missed dearly for the extent of his time on the IL. In 2019, Carrasco was 4-6 with a 4.98 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, with 79 strikeouts through 65 innings pitched for the Indians before the news was announced.
As mentioned above, Carrasco has begun some rehab stints in the minors where he appeared in 3.2 innings pitched throughout three games while only allowing one run on two hits with the Double-A Akron affiliate. Carrasco has been throwing bullpens on the side, and the Indians believe he is ready to move back onto the MLB roster and compete with the Indians again.
In the American League (AL) East, the Cleveland Indians are just behind the division-leading Minnesota Twins and currently have one of the AL Wildcard spots. The AL Wildcard race is going to be a tough one with the Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland Athletics, and Indians all in the hunt within a game of each other but only two will make it. The Indians made some moves at the deadline like trading away Trevor Bauer to bring in Yasiel Puig and Franmil Reyes as the main pieces for the Indians.
With the remainder of the season being crucial for the Indians, Carrasco’s return to the lineup is going to be essential for the team’s success. Watching Carrasco overcome so much adversity to get to where he is now is fantastic, and the Indians clubhouse not only receives another great arm for their pitching staff but a dearly missed clubhouse presence.