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Carrasco back with Tribe, will pitch out of 'pen

Cleveland calls up Haase, Flaherty, Hoyt; Otero activated
@MandyBell02 and @Sportsgal25
September 1, 2019

It’s been a long, unbelievable journey for Carlos Carrasco. But after having to step away from his team for more than two months, the 32-year-old righty is back. The Indians announced prior to Sunday’s game that they activated Carrasco and Dan Otero from the injured list, recalled catcher Eric Haase

It’s been a long, unbelievable journey for Carlos Carrasco. But after having to step away from his team for more than two months, the 32-year-old righty is back.

The Indians announced prior to Sunday’s game that they activated Carrasco and Dan Otero from the injured list, recalled catcher Eric Haase and selected the contracts of infielder Ryan Flaherty and righty James Hoyt in their first wave of September callups.

Coo-kie! Coo-kie! Carrasco cheered in return

Carrasco was diagnosed with leukemia at the beginning of June and was able to build himself back up to be an option for the Indians out of the bullpen for the final month of the regular season. He made four appearances in his Minor League rehab assignment, allowing one run over five innings.

Indians manager Terry Francona said that the first load of callups would be light because he didn’t want to haul too many players to Florida for a Sunday day game before turning around and heading back to Cleveland. Haase has slashed .226/.315/.517 in Triple-A this year, with 28 homers and 60 RBIs in 102 games and Flaherty, a utility guy, hit .263 with an .831 OPS. Hoyt owned a 3.43 ERA in 42 appearances (two starts) in Columbus.

“When we get back home, we’ll probably go day by day because some of these guys, it’s better for them to play than to come sit,” Francona said. “And then if we have a need, they’re so close we can get them there.”

Francona will also have to consider Triple-A Columbus’ upcoming playoff schedule, as the Tribe’s Minor League affiliate will be playing beyond the end of the regular season on Monday.

In corresponding moves, the Indians transferred right-hander A.J. Cole, outfielder Tyler Naquin and left-hander Tyler Olson from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day IL. Cleveland also designated righty Jon Edwards for assignment.

Having young faces in the Indians’ clubhouse is nothing new for the Tribe. Let’s take a look at rookies who have already impressed this year and who else to keep an eye on for the future.

Arrival: The Indians have had a handful of rising stars make an impact at the big league level this year, including Zach Plesac and Aaron Civale. But the rookie who has arguably been the most important to his team has been Oscar Mercado. The 24-year-old made his Major League debut on May 14 and has hit .271 with a .741 OPS.

Breakout: James Karinchak worked his way from No. 30 on MLB Pipeline’s Indians Top 30 prospects list to No. 21 midway through the season after holding on to his 0.00 ERA through his first 13 games of the season. The 23-year-old then sustained a right hamstring injury that sidelined him for two months. He had two shaky outings in his first few appearances off the injured list, but he has settled in to allow three runs over his last 11 innings.

Something to prove: All eyes will be on Triston McKenzie at the beginning of the 2020 season. The Tribe’s former top prospect -- who has since dropped to No. 2 on MLB Pipeline -- was unable to get into game action this season due to an upper back strain. Missing a full year of development will cause the 6-foot-5 hurler to have to come back with something to prove in ‘20.

Name to watch: Keep an eye on the team’s No. 1 overall prospect, Nolan Jones. He entered the year at No. 2, switching places with McKenzie midseason, and he has really excited the big league coaching staff. Jones represented the Indians at the SirusXM All-Star Futures Game this year and is projected to break into the Majors in 2020.

Kipnis out Sunday; to see doctor
Second baseman Jason Kipnis was out of the lineup for Sunday’s finale against the Rays, one game after leaving in the seventh inning with right wrist discomfort. Francona said the rest was planned before Kipnis arrived at the ballpark Sunday.

Still, Kipnis will meet with hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham -- who performed third baseman Jose Ramirez’s hamate surgery -- on Monday. Kipnis told media following Saturday’s game that the injury was not related to the hamate bone, and that the discomfort had not grown worse over the few weeks he’s been dealing with it, just that overextending it, such as in a swing and miss, “really gets to you a little bit.”

“He’ll get looked at by Dr. Graham [Monday], and that’ll really give us some guidance, you know, can he play… we’ll know a lot more then,” Francona said.

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

Dawn Klemish is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Tampa. Follow her on Twitter @Sportsgal25.