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Second Thoughts: The Dark Cloud Over Carlos Carrasco

Latest possible injury another twist in Carrasco's bizarre career

Second Thoughts: The Dark Cloud Over Carlos Carrasco
April 26, 2013
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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.

User Comments

dick
April 27, 2013 - 7:34 AM EDT
Don't see the logic in keeping Barnes in the pen given the state of the Big team's rotation. Columbus and Akron appear to have a plethora of quality relief arms, even if right-handed. If having Loogies in storage at Columbus is deemed important it seems Gio and Huff would suffice. Barnes has to be a better SP prospect than Kluber.
Andy
April 26, 2013 - 10:11 PM EDT
Thanks as always for the feedback, Tony.

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?
Tony
April 26, 2013 - 4:05 PM EDT
Whitenack could be ready at any moment. When I asked last week, he was still being built up in his throwing program. Just depends if they want to start him right away or have him start in pen while building up.
Andy
April 26, 2013 - 3:43 PM EDT
Brach and Cole Cook have been in long relief for Akron, so Brach makes sense.

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.
Tony
April 26, 2013 - 1:10 PM EDT
If no one from extended is ready, then probably just see Brach slide into the rotation. I don't see a callup from Carolina happening.
Andy
April 26, 2013 - 12:48 PM EDT
Any idea what the corresponding move will be for Akron? Has Whitenack gotten enough work to be stretched into a starting role or somebody else still in extended ST?
Tony
April 26, 2013 - 12:05 PM EDT
House was promoted to Columbus this morning.
Andy
April 26, 2013 - 12:02 PM EDT
Looks like the sacrificial tubs of KFC may have paid dividends.

Maybe this is the opening House needs to get promoted to AAA?
League Park
April 26, 2013 - 11:49 AM EDT
I wouldnt want to be the batter who hit Carrasco. He will get some serious chin music
Tony
April 26, 2013 - 11:35 AM EDT
Yep, from the details I have heard as to what happened, Matthew you are right. Indians appear to have dodged a major bullet. He will be out a little while, but should be back soon. Much better than the prognosis of missing the rest of the year with any kind of dislocation or fracture.
Matthew
April 26, 2013 - 11:32 AM EDT
Indians reporting that it is a "deep bone contusion" to the forearm and elbow, and he is day-to-day. If that's all it is, we dodged a major bullet and he could be back in a month or so.
Tony
April 26, 2013 - 11:31 AM EDT
Carrasco is being examined by a doctor this morning. News on the extend of the injury expected later today.
Mike
April 26, 2013 - 11:28 AM EDT
I'm resorting to sacrificing tubs of KFC and shot glasses of rum now. Praying didn't work, and optimism is long since gone, so raw superstition is all I have left.
Seth
April 26, 2013 - 10:42 AM EDT
Really hope this is not as serious as it sounds
Canadian Joe
April 26, 2013 - 10:27 AM EDT
Sad to hear Tony. Looked like he was rounding in to shape nicely for a call up. Hope it's not serious. Please keep us apprised.
Tony
April 26, 2013 - 9:58 AM EDT
No word yet on the extent of the injury. Arm was said to be "dangling" when he came off the field. Was in considerable pain. The accounts I have heard all portrayed a graphic and gruesome scene and that it was one of the worst non-head injuries anyone has seen on the mound. One person even said his elbow bent back awkwardly after watching it on the TV replay in the press box. The hope is that it is merely a contusion. But if this is a dislocation or a fracture, he's done for the year.
League Park
April 26, 2013 - 9:53 AM EDT
Cliff Lee trade looking worse all the time. Lou Marson wasn't a good hitter in the minors with the Phillies, Knapp had a serious injury and Donald is in AAA with the Reds
Roger
April 26, 2013 - 9:50 AM EDT
lets not jump to conclusions and await the results of tests a bone bruise is painful but isnt a long stint on the DL. He is throwing well. Lets hope for once this is merely partly cloudy and not a thunder cloud over a once promising blue chip prospect. But it sure does seem like a dark cloud is constantly over carlos.
Canadian Joe
April 26, 2013 - 9:50 AM EDT
Between Adam Miller, Jason Knapp and now Carlos, this organization can't seem to buy a break. And we still have Bauer and his antics to deal with. Could have been a great rotation. Should have been....... Would have been........ Hopefully this setback is not serious and he's back shortly. Good luck Carlos !!!!
Dennis
April 26, 2013 - 9:40 AM EDT
Are you sure it wasn't Voodoo causing the issue(s).. perhaps some KARMA mixed in?.. Maybe it was a recalled moment in his childhood causing the indiscretion?

Being an amateur psychologist on a baseball website is just wrong..

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