CLEVELAND -- The Indians can exhale some after the latest round of tests on Carlos Carrasco's right elbow came back negative for any structural damage.Indians manager Terry Francona noted before Monday's game against the White Sox that an MRI exam, along with X-rays, on Carrasco confirmed the team's diagnosis of
CLEVELAND -- The Indians can exhale some after the latest round of tests on Carlos Carrasco's right elbow came back negative for any structural damage.
Indians manager Terry Francona noted before Monday's game against the White Sox that an MRI exam, along with X-rays, on Carrasco confirmed the team's diagnosis of a contusion on his pitching elbow. Carrasco, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Saturday, will receive treatment over the next two days before being re-evaluated on Wednesday.
"They'll talk about when he can start to throw, but that won't be until Wednesday," Francona said. "He still got hit really hard and there's some trauma. So, we dodged a huge bullet. The hope would be, once he gets the swelling out of there, that he'll come quick, because it's a bruise. It could have been a lot worse."
Carrasco was struck on the elbow by a line drive off the bat of Joe Mauer in the second inning of Saturday's 9-3 loss to the Twins and immediately left the game. Carrasco, who placed fourth in balloting for the American League Cy Young Award last year, has gone 8-5 with a 4.24 ERA, 96 strikeouts and 22 walks in 91 1/3 innings (15 starts) this season for the Tribe.
"I think he's champing at the bit to get this out of there and start pitching again," Francona said.
Alonso returns, Allen optioned
Prior to Monday's game against the White Sox, the Indians activated first baseman Yonder Alonso from Major League Baseball's family medical emergency list after a three-day absence for undisclosed reasons. In order to clear a spot on the active roster, Cleveland optioned rookie outfielder Greg Allen to Triple-A Columbus.
Francona said the message to Allen was to embrace improving upon doing the little things that can be the difference between a win and a loss at the big league level.
"Guys learn quickly how one play can change a game," said Francona. "Those are things that when you're in the Minor Leagues, that's development. When you're here, it directly impacts us winning and losing. So, I said, 'The more you can embrace trying to be good at those things [the better].' And [bench coach Brad Mills] was in there, too, and he used a good [phrase]. He said, 'You can build up momentum even without getting hits.' And I thought it was a really good way of saying it."
The Indians signed free-agent lefty Marc Rzepczynski to a Minor League contract on Monday and assigned him to Triple-A Columbus. Rzepczynski, 32, was designated for assignment and released by the Mariners earlier this month after posting a 9.39 ERA in 7 2/3 innings. The lefty turned in a 2.70 ERA in 145 games for Cleveland in parts of the 2013-15 seasons and has limited lefty batters to a .225 average (.597 OPS) in 501 career games in the Majors.
With lefties Andrew Miller (right knee) and Tyler Olson (left lat strain) both on the DL, Rzepczynski gives the Indians an experienced layer of depth in the Minors. Right now, veteran Oliver Perez is the only lefty in Cleveland's bullpen.
"It's a guy we know," Francona said of Rzepczynski. "We're down to one lefty right now, so it's a guy that certainly could come here and help, for sure. He didn't sign to stay in Triple-A."
One thing Francona is not worrying about is trying to spell Rzepczynski's name.
"I've got it in my phone: Z-E-P," Francona quipped.
• Following a team off-day on Thursday, rookie right-hander Shane Bieber will start for the Indians in the opener of a three-game series against Detroit. Righty Adam Plutko will shift to the bullpen for the next eight days, leading up to his next scheduled start on June 26 at St. Louis.
• Center fielder Bradley Zimmer, who is on the Minor League DL due to right shoulder discomfort for Triple-A Columbus, continued to experience lingering issues while throwing within the past two days, per Francona. Zimmer is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam to gather more information.
• Veteran outfielder Melky Cabrera cleared outright waivers and elected free agency on Monday, as opposed to accepting a Minor League assignment. The Indians designated Cabrera for assignment on Thursday.
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.