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Carrasco fields grounders, wants to face hitters

@MandyBell02
August 13, 2019

CLEVELAND -- Carlos Carrasco stood atop the pitcher's mound in the middle of Progressive Field 81 days after his last home start. He may not have been in a live game or even throwing pitches, but Carrasco was on the field prior to the Indians' game against the Red Sox

CLEVELAND -- Carlos Carrasco stood atop the pitcher's mound in the middle of Progressive Field 81 days after his last home start.

He may not have been in a live game or even throwing pitches, but Carrasco was on the field prior to the Indians' game against the Red Sox on Tuesday, fielding ground balls from the rubber. It's clear Carrasco is starting to get the itch to get back into games, so much so that he's asking to throw to hitters on Friday.

"That's still to be determined," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "I mean, the idea that he wants to, I think is terrific. But there's got to be some sign-off from the medical people. But the fact he feels he's ready to do that is tremendous."

Carrasco was placed on the injured list June 5 with a blood condition that was later revealed to be chronic myeloid leukemia. Carrasco progressed to throwing a few bullpen sessions later in June and throughout July, but he was shut down for a few days when he wasn't bouncing back as well as he would've liked. Right before the team went on the road to Minnesota last weekend, he started to get back on a regular throwing schedule. But even with Carrasco's optimism and workload, the team is sticking to its plan of not releasing any specific timeline on his return.

"We said we wouldn't and we're not gonna, I think, in fairness to him," said Francona. "Even if this just helps him feel better, that's OK with us. We'd love for him to come back and pitch, but if this is what helps him get through the day, if that's what it leads to, we're OK with that, too."

Wood ready to go

Hunter Wood took a 104.2-mph one-hopper off his calf in Monday's series opener -- his birthday -- against the Red Sox and was pulled from the game. But Francona said the reliever came in feeling better on Tuesday.

"He's OK, he's OK," Francona said. "He was kind of glad we got him out of there, because he got pretty stiff really quick. But they got to work on him for the rest of the game and he came in and said he's ready."

Salazar hoping to progress to bullpen sessions

Danny Salazar was sent to Tampa, Fla., after straining his right groin in his first start since 2017 on Aug. 1. The club was hoping to find him a specialist in the area to help his recovery process, and the right-hander has started to throw once again.

"He is trying to progress to bullpen [sessions]," Francona said. "That should be in the pretty near future."

This date in Indians history

2006: Travis Hafner tied an MLB single-season record with his sixth grand slam of the year.

Mandy Bell covers the Indians for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MandyBell02.