Carlos Carrasco reveals he’s battling leukemia

July 7th, 2019

Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco told television network CDN 37 in the Dominican Republic on Friday that he has leukemia.

In a statement Sunday, the club said Carrasco "was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a treatable form of leukemia and has since been cleared to resume strength and conditioning workouts and throwing activity to tolerance. He is being re-evaluated regularly and there is no timetable for return to baseball game activity."

“At the end of May, they shut me down because they saw something wrong with my blood," Carrasco said in Spanish on CDN 37. "The doctors got a little worried and they sent me for a blood test, another blood test. The blood levels were off, the platelets were really high. The following week, my wife and I went to the hospital, and they told us I have leukemia. That’s one of the reasons why I’m not playing right now, but I’ll be back at the end of July.”

Carrasco, however, did not specify if his return at the end of July would be back with the big league club or the start of a rehab assignment.

“There’s nothing that came out that we didn’t know,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We’re not putting any timetables. I don’t think that’s fair to anybody. Carlos will make his thoughts known.

“I think our organization’s good about that; in fact, I know they are,” Francona said. “And if you’ve got to be sick, being in the Cleveland clinic is a pretty darn good place to be. I witnessed myself. The care you get there goes above and beyond. Our players know that too.”

The Indians announced in early June that Carrasco, 32, had been feeling lethargic and was taking a leave of absence from the club after being diagnosed with a blood condition. The Indians said he would be "stepping away from baseball activities to explore the optimal treatment and recovery options."

Carrasco is in his 10th Major League season, and has spent his entire big league career with the Indians. In 12 starts this season prior to the diagnosis, he posted a 4.98 ERA, including a shutout and a 7.2 strikeout-to-walk rate.

Carrasco's finest season as a starting pitcher came in 2017, when he posted 18 wins, a 3.29 ERA in 32 starts and a career-high 200 innings to finish fourth in the American League Cy Young Award voting.

From 2015, when he became a full-time starter, through 2018, Carrasco had a 3.12 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and a 28% strikeout rate.