Indians give tired Kazmir's next start to Carrasco
CLEVELAND -- Given Scott Kazmir's comeback from baseball oblivion, the Indians knew the day might come when the left-hander finally felt fatigued. Cleveland's goal now is to give the pitcher enough rest to get him back on track as soon as possible.
Indians manager Terry Francona announced Saturday that right-hander Carlos Carrasco will start in place of Kazmir on Wednesday in Minnesota. It is undetermined when Kazmir, who logged only three-plus innings in Friday's 5-2 loss to the Angels, will take the mound again for the Tribe.
"We're trying to bump Kaz back a couple days at the minimum," Francona said. "Kaz came in actually feeling pretty good today, which is really good. I think the rest will help him."
Francona said the down period could be stretched to as many as four days, if necessary. The Indians will continue to monitor Kazmir's progress before making a firm decision about the timing of his next start.
Kazmir described this as a "dead-arm" phase, which is something he has not dealt with in the past.
"It's just a little dead, a little fatigued," Kazmir said. "I felt like I could keep it going. We'll see how it goes. I've never had this where it's just been really fatigued. Normally, I'd get stronger as the year goes on. It's just something where we'll get past this and I'll be fine.
"The good news is I came in today feeling better than I anticipated."
Kazmir logged only 17 innings between Triple-A and the Majors prior to being released by the Angels in 2011. Last year, the left-hander had stints with the Sugar Land Skeeters in independent ball and Carolina in the Puerto Rican Winter League, and worked 86 2/3 combined innings.
This season, Kazmir has gone 7-5 with a 4.18 ERA in 21 starts, logging 114 innings for the Indians.
"It's so commendable on his end that he has, to this point, done what he's done," Francona said. "He's worked so hard and he's done such a great job, and he will continue to. I think it's a testament to what he's done, because what he missed the last couple years, to answer the bell every five or six days all year is not an easy thing to do for anybody."
Carrasco, who went 0-4 with a 9.10 ERA in six starts for the Tribe earlier this season, was promoted from Triple-A Columbus on Friday as an emergency long reliever. The right-hander responded with five shutout innings of relief to close out the loss to the Angels, saving Cleveland's tired bullpen some work.
"They gave me some tape on how to attack hitters in different counts," Carrasco said. "On 1-1, 1-2, 2-2 counts and everything. So I worked on that, trying to attack the hitters to both sides of the plate. That's what I did [Friday] night. That's why you saw those results, especially because I had good fastball location."