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Carrasco may miss time with elbow swelling

March 14, 2017

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Carlos Carrasco downplayed the damage done against him in his most recent start, but his outing was uncharacteristic enough to convince the Indians to explore whether anything more serious was troubling the right-hander.Following Tuesday's 6-5 loss to the Giants, Indians manager Terry Francona noted that Carrasco underwent

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Carlos Carrasco downplayed the damage done against him in his most recent start, but his outing was uncharacteristic enough to convince the Indians to explore whether anything more serious was troubling the right-hander.
Following Tuesday's 6-5 loss to the Giants, Indians manager Terry Francona noted that Carrasco underwent an MRI exam earlier in the day, revealing some swelling, but no structural damage in his right elbow. As a result, Francona said the team is leaning toward skipping Carrasco at least once in the spring rotation.
"He's good," Francona said. "Structurally, it's the same as it was, which is really good news."
Francona said he will need to sit down with pitching coach Mickey Callaway, the medical staff and Carrasco to form a plan for the coming days. The Indians are also trying to balance the fact that Carrasco's wife is due to give birth within the next week or two, meaning the pitcher will be away from camp for a handful of days at some point soon.
Even by Spring Training standards, Carrasco's start against the White Sox on Monday was concerning. While Francona said there were no red flags with Carrasco's pitch velocity, the manager noted he and Callaway were somewhat alarmed by the picher's performance. In 1 2/3 innings, the starter allowed eight runs on eight hits, including three home runs.
After discussing the situation, the Indians opted to have Carrasco examined Tuesday morning.
"We always try to cover every base there is," Francona said, "probably sometimes when there isn't one. The last thing we ever want to do is assume something. That's really all it is."
Carrasco did not seem overly concerned in the wake of his start, noting he was working specifically on his fastball. The pitcher estimated that 90 percent of his pitches were fastballs, and Francona pointed out that Carrasco shook off catcher Yan Gomes' signals for other pitches throughout the start.
Carrasco's season ended on Sept. 17 last year due to a line drive that fractured his right hand, though that injury is no longer an issue.
"I feel fine," Carrasco said Monday, adding that building up his arm strength with his fastball has been a priority for him this spring. "I didn't throw for five months because of my injury. So I just want to get a feeling for my fastball. I think that's my most important pitch."

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 listen to his podcast.