PEORIA, Ariz. -- After his third and best start of the spring in a 14-6 victory over the Mariners Wednesday night at Peoria Stadium, Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco said he was finally on the right track."Yes, yes," he said. "Today I feel exactly where I want to be."It's been a
PEORIA, Ariz. -- After his third and best start of the spring in a 14-6 victory over the Mariners Wednesday night at Peoria Stadium, Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco said he was finally on the right track.
"Yes, yes," he said. "Today I feel exactly where I want to be."
It's been a long haul. Carrasco was buzzing along last season with an 11-8 record, 3.32 ERA and 150 strikeouts in 146 1/3 innings on Sept. 17 when a liner off the bat of Detroit's Ian Kinsler fractured his right hand.
That sidelined him for the duration and he had to sit and watch his team win the American League Central, the AL pennant, and come down to the last pitch of Game 7 in the 10th inning of the World Series before losing to the Cubs.
Carrasco said on Wednesday after throwing 35 pitches over three scoreless, hitless innings -- striking out two and walking one -- that he faced that situation with a tad bit of frustration mixed with happiness for his teammates.
"They made it to the last game so I was really happy for them," he said. "At the same time, it was a little frustrating for myself. But that was inside me. I couldn't let anybody else see it. I couldn't let it get outside myself.
"But I'm pretty sure right now we have a good team. We have a good bullpen. We have great rotation. This year we just need to start well, win some games in April. Take it one game at a time."
Carrasco's first two starts of the spring weren't particularly stunning. He allowed six earned runs on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings and was behind in the count a lot.
But there was good reason for it, he said.
"I hadn't pitched for five months. I hadn't thrown since September," Carrasco said. "Now I feel great. I hope I continue to do everything the right way. But this is Spring Training. That's why we're here. To do everything we can do to get ready for the season."
Now he's starting to get there, relying relatively on his fastball on Wednesday night.
"There was some conviction behind his pitches," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "[Pitching coach] Mickey [Callaway] said he warmed up good. It was good to see him get his three [innings]. They start getting some innings in them, they get some repetition. You'll see some things tightening up."
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter.