Carlos Carrasco injury updates have been coming in and the news is not good. Carrasco was injured as the Cleveland Indians played the Detroit Tigers on Sunday, April 24. A report from MLB.com states that Carrasco grabbed the back of his leg while running to cover first base on a ground ball. The injury took place in the third inning and the Indians starting pitcher had to be helped off the field.
An updated report from NBC Sports states that the Indians will place Carrasco on the disabled list. The Carrasco injury is tentatively being called a strained hamstring, but more testing will be done on his leg when the team travels back to Cleveland. Carrasco is already scheduled to undergo an MRI and will be placed on the 15-day disabled list to allow time for recovery.
If it turns out that Carrasco's injury is more serious than just a strained hamstring, the Cleveland Indians also have the option to move him over to the 60-day disabled list. The difference is that the team can add another player to the 40-man roster, and Carrasco wouldn't be able to play again until at least 60 days have passed. For now, the Indians are just taking the safe approach, even though manager Terry Francona didn't sound very positive when he spoke about the situation.
Losing a starting pitcher is a big blow to any team, but this Carlos Carrasco injury could completely derail the Indians. During the 2015 MLB season, Carrasco made 30 starts for the Indians, posting a 14-12 record, a 3.63 ERA, and a WHIP of just 1.073 over 183 and two-thirds innings. He was pitching even better to start the 2016 MLB season, going 2-0 with a 2.79 ERA and 1.034 WHIP through his first three starts. Combined with Corey Kluber, the Indians had one of the most formidable duos in baseball.
Fantasy baseball owners and Cleveland Indians fans want to know who the short-term replacement is going to be in the starting rotation. Francona may have given a strong hint on Sunday, as Trevor Bauer came in to provide some decent long relief pitching out of the bullpen. Bauer went three and a third innings, giving up two runs and striking out four hitters. He picked up his first win of the season and showed that he might be the easy option to fill out the open slot in the starting rotation.
Trevor Bauer is no stranger to starting games, as he has made 64 career starts between his time with the Cleveland Indians and Arizona Diamondbacks. A lack of consistency in the starting rotation led to his demotion, but he could be in line for another chance. During the 2015 MLB season, Bauer pitched in 31 games for the Indians (30 starts), posting an 11-12 record, a 4.55 ERA, and a 1.31 WHIP over 176 innings pitched.
After sweeping this series with the Detroit Tigers, the Indians have improved to 9-7 on the season. That's good enough to hold the second wild card slot at this early point of the season, possibly suggesting that the team is talented enough to compete for the postseason. That could all depend on how the team responds following the Carrasco injury and whether his replacement in the starting rotation can find sustained success.
There is a lot riding on the MRI that will take place on Monday, April 25. A hamstring injury isn't something that a typical baseball player bounces back from quickly, especially if there is a significant tear in the muscle. Until the results of the tests come back, though, it would be premature to guess how long this Carlos Carrasco injury is going to last. Cleveland Indians fans and fantasy baseball owners should expect a statement to come from the team early this week.
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