Second Thoughts: The Dark Cloud Over Carlos Carrasco
Latest possible injury another twist in Carrasco's bizarre career
After taking a line drive off his elbow in a start last night for Columbus, Carlos Carrasco appears to have established a rather morbid method for evading the suspensions Major League Baseball tries to impose upon him. At press time, the extent of Carrasco’s latest injury remained unknown, but if initial reports are any indication, another prolonged stint on the disabled list could be in the cards. If so, it’s just the latest chapter it what has become an increasingly bizarre pro career for the 26 year-old right-hander from Venezuela.
It’s easy to forget that back on July 4th of 2011, Carrasco was 8-4 with a 3.54 ERA—looking every bit like the dynamic hurler the Tribe brass envisioned when they made him the center piece of the Cliff Lee deal two years earlier. From that point forward, however, it’s been an absolute tire fire.
Carrasco lost his next five consecutive starts, culminating in an embarrassing outing on July 29 that saw him intentionally bean the Royals’ Billy Butler out of pure frustration. A six game suspension was sent down, but before Carlos could even serve it, he was on the karma train to the D.L. and season-ending Tommy John surgery.
As is often the case, that surgery cost Carrasco all of the following season, as well, meaning nearly two whole years passed before the once-heralded prospect was finally activated again, enabling him to serve his long overdue, but apparently not forgotten punishment for the Butler incident.
By April 9, with his penance paid and rightful place in the Tribe rotation restored, Carlos improbably picked up exactly where he’d left off—plunking Kevin Youkilis in childish retaliation for Robinson Cano depositing his previous pitch 18 rows into the bleachers. Johnny Law recognized a repeat offender and dropped the hammer down—BAM! 8 game suspension. Like Brooks in The Shawshank Redemption, Carlos just couldn’t seem to adjust to a life on the outside.
In the 662 days that have passed since the aforementioned Independence Day highpoint of his career, Carlos Carrasco has been suspended for twice as many games (14) as he has actually appeared in (7). As for those seven games he pitched, the Indians lost all of them.
Of course, the sadder part of the story here is that Carrasco—despite the maturity questions raised by the bean-balls and subsequent demotion—was throwing well in spring and through his first several starts with Columbus this year, tossing 14.2 straight shutout innings for the Clippers until the injury last night. With Brett Myers on the shelf and Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir occupying—let’s say, “tentative”--spots in the Tribe rotation, Carrasco’s return looked like a foregone and imminent conclusion.
Now, in a worst-case scenario, his latest suspension may be left to collect dust just as his last one did—awaiting a day when the convicted man is healthy enough to serve his sentence and begin his career anew. Again. Some day.
Of course, if the injured elbow winds up just being a mild contusion, you can mentally edit out all the preceding melodrama.
Blair and Rayl seem like the only guys in extended that could jump to AA. Or promote Goodnight if Araujo is ready for game action. Any word on how Araujo and Cody Penny are doing?
Do you have any idea when Whitenack would be ready for game action again? Someone in the Indians player development dept was quoted that the waiver process impacts a player due to prolonged inactivity, so just wondering if Whitenack has to essentially restart his throwing program.
Maybe this is the opening House needs to get promoted to AAA?
Being an amateur psychologist on a baseball website is just wrong..