CLEVELAND — Carlos Carrasco already got some bad news Wednesday, learning that he had been removed from the rotation and optioned back to Triple-A Columbus. Now, he’s waiting to see if there is more coming.
Carrasco could be suspended for hitting Yankees third baseman Kevin Youkilis with a pitch and getting ejected from the Indians’ 14-1 loss Tuesday. The plunking came after Carrasco had allowed a home run, the same thing he got suspended for in 2011.
“No, I hope not,” manager Terry Francona said when asked if he thought Carrasco would be disciplined prior to Cleveland’s postponed game with the Yankees at Progressive Field on Wednesday. “I know how it looked. And I also know what he told me and I believe him. I know the league has to do their thing and I fully respect that. The league is pretty good about listening. I know they have a job to do too.”
Carrasco and the Indians are contending that the pitcher slipped on the mound, causing a high and inside offering to Youkilis, who was struck on the back of the left shoulder.
Joe Torre, Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of baseball operations, will have the final say. The Indians are expecting some type of word from the league’s dean of discipline today.
Wrong or right, players are often hit by pitchers that have just allowed home runs. Francona said that wasn’t the case with Carrasco.
“I don’t buy that,” Francona said. “I believe (Carrasco) slipped last night. That wasn’t Kevin Youkilis’ fault … no, I don’t buy into that. The game has a way of taking care of itself sometimes when it needs to. That’s not what happened last night, and I fully believe that. Nobody on their team needed to be hit, and nobody got hit intentionally.”
Carrasco’s ejection in the fourth inning had a negative effect on the Indians rotation as well.
Because Cleveland had to employ Wednesday’s scheduled starter Brett Myers in relief of Carrasco, they had to promote right-hander Corey Kluber from Columbus. Kluber was scheduled to take Myers’ place before the game was postponed and will now pitch out of the bullpen for the time being.
Right-hander Zach McAllister is scheduled to start tonight, with the Indians not needing a replacement for Carrasco — or a fifth starter — until April 20. At that point, they could turn to a host of pitchers — Trevor Bauer, Carrasco, Kluber, Daisuke Matsuzaka or Scott Kazmir, who will be eligible to leave the disabled list. Kazmir won the fifth spot out of spring training.
Had Kluber pitched Wednesday, the Indians would have used seven different starting pitchers over the first nine games of the season. Not exactly an ideal start to the year.
“You try to take things that don’t go right and make the best out of it and take positives from it,” Francona said.
Though the Yankees and Indians play again today, there will be no doubleheader. The two teams are tentatively looking at May 13, a previously scheduled off-day between trips to Detroit and Philadelphia for Cleveland, as the makeup date.