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Carrasco brings good vibes to Tribe clubhouse

Kluber throws again, Otero scheduled to pitch twice in Minors
@MandyBell02
July 21, 2019

CLEVELAND -- Shane Bieber was addressing the media Friday night, talking about how his offense picked him up after his five-run outing and the early balk call that had frustrated the hurler. But when Carlos Carrasco yelled from across the room, Bieber cracked the biggest smile. “Ooh whoa, ooh whoa,”

CLEVELAND -- Shane Bieber was addressing the media Friday night, talking about how his offense picked him up after his five-run outing and the early balk call that had frustrated the hurler. But when Carlos Carrasco yelled from across the room, Bieber cracked the biggest smile.

“Ooh whoa, ooh whoa,” Carrasco sang to the tune of Justin Bieber’s song, “Baby.”

“It was a weird game,” Bieber said, as Carrasco started yelling. “Now it’s back to normal.”

Carrasco, who has been on the Indians’ injured list since June 5 with a blood condition that was later revealed to be chronic myeloid leukemia, was changing back into his street clothes after spending the evening on the Indians’ bench, cheering on his teammates.

His antics were missed in June, but his face has been seen regularly around Progressive Field throughout July. Carrasco ended his Friday night by standing behind Bieber and staring into the television cameras as the 24-year-old finished his interview.

“I think in the first inning, after my first pitch, he threw one of those ‘Whoaaa whoa,’” Bieber said. “I can’t do it like him, so I’m not gonna try. I kind of looked to the dugout and smiled. It’s awesome. It’s a pleasure just to be around [him], whether he’s talking smack or not talking smack. He’s one of the best teammates that we’ve ever come across, and that I’ve ever come across, so it’s always nice to have him here.”

Carrasco has been working out with his teammates during the Tribe’s 10-game homestand after the All-Star break. He threw a bullpen session on Sunday before the Indians’ 5-4 win over the Royals, and continues to do whatever his body will allow him to do, though he and the team have set no timeframe for his return.

“I think we feel like the more he can do, one, it’s better for his brain, his outlook, being around the team and keeping him going,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “And then, if there is a time where everybody says that he can pitch, he won’t have been that far off, because he’s been throwing. So that’s kind of the idea. To speculate I don’t think is fair to him. We’ve just been trying to be supportive.”

But after taking his few weeks to himself after telling the team about his diagnosis, Carrasco has gotten back to his normal ways of yelling, smiling and joking around with his teammates both on the field and in the clubhouse.

“Every time you see him, everybody’s face kind of lights up because he’s been so important here for, what, seven, eight years?” Francona said. “When something happens to somebody that you care about and then you see them pop into the dugout with the same old smile, it feels good.”

Kluber throws second bullpen session

Corey Kluber, who is working his way back from the fractured right arm he sustained on May 1, threw his second bullpen session on Sunday after spending the last three days playing catch. On Saturday, the right-hander also threw some breaking balls on flat ground. But his bullpen sessions still consist of only fastballs, though his pitch count was expected to increase to 25-30 pitches on Sunday.

“By all accounts, he’s doing a good job,” Francona said. “Other than breaking a bone, that’s really the only negative thing you could say. And that wasn’t his fault.”

Otero to go back-to-back

Reliever Dan Otero will make back-to-back appearances on Tuesday and Wednesday for Triple-A Columbus as he nears the end of his rehab assignment. The righty went on the 10-day injured list on June 2 – retroactive to May 31 – with right shoulder inflammation.

This day in Indians history

2005: The Indians scored seven runs in the seventh inning, capped by a Victor Martinez three-run homer, as the Tribe defeated Kansas City, 10-1.

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