Indians’ Carlos Carrasco approaching rehab assignment
During the MLB All-Star Game, it has become tradition to take a moment of silence to honor members of the MLB community that have battled or are currently battling cancer.
So when Cleveland Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco–joined by teammates holding signs that said “I stand for Cookie”–made a cameo in front of the home crowd during the FOX telecast, there were heavy hearts throughout Progressive Field.
Carrasco had just recently announced that he had been diagnosed with leukemia, a stunning development that left the MLB community reeling.
However, his progress in battling the disease was so encouraging that the Indians still held slight optimism that he might be able to return prior to the conclusion of the regular season.
Indeed, Carrasco will pitch in his first rehab assignment barring any setbacks, according to Zack Meisel of The Athletic:
So long as Carlos Carrasco’s arm feels good today, he’ll throw an inning in a rehab appearance for Double-A Akron on Monday. The Indians will keep him on a reliever’s program, an idea that got Carrasco excited.
“His eyes lit up,” Terry Francona said.
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) August 17, 2019
The Indians have already been the best team in baseball since the start of June, but there is reason to believe that Carrasco’s potential return could have an even more drastic impact on the team.
Cleveland is finally starting to get fully healthy, with Mike Clevinger back and pitching like an ace alongside Shane Bieber, and Corey Kluber eyeing a return of his own.
Carrasco had gotten off to a rocky start in 2019, posting a 4.98 ERA through his first 12 starts. However, he has been one of the more underrated pitchers in all of baseball in recent years, ranking seventh in fWAR between 2014 and 2018.
The Indians would gladly welcome a healthy Carrasco back to the staff, whether in a relief or starting role.
His return is already a miraculous development, and it could become even more storybook as he looks to give Cleveland added firepower in October.