September 22, 2014

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Tribe notes: Carlos Carrasco sent back to minors after terrible outing

CLEVELAND — The Indians were forced to make a strange move Sunday thanks to a poor outing from right-hander Carlos Carrasco the day before.

Carrasco, who was officially recalled Saturday and allowed seven runs on 10 hits over 3⅓ innings of a 9-4 loss to the Tigers, was designated for assignment, with Cleveland promoting relief pitcher Preston Guilmet from Triple-A Columbus.

Because Carrasco, who has a minor league option, had just been recalled and did not have time to clear optional waivers, the Indians couldn’t simply option him back to the minors. They were forced to DFA the pitcher, which meant they had to trade, release or place Carrasco on waivers.

Still, it is just a formality, with Cleveland able to pull Carrasco off waivers if he is claimed. He is already with the Clippers.

He and the Indians wouldn’t have been in the situation had Carrasco — 0-4 with a 9.01 ERA in six starts for Cleveland — pitched better Saturday. He would have remained in the rotation, instead of the Indians looking for a starter to take his place Thursday against Toronto.

“We had intended to start him (Thursday) but because he went short, we wanted an arm,” manager Terry Francona said. “We need him to pitch better.”

The Indians are expected to announce a starter for Thursday today. The strongest candidates are Columbus right-handers Trevor Bauer and Danny Salazar. Bauer (1-2, 5.29 ERA) has already made four starts for Cleveland, while Salazar, an undrafted free-agent signee in 2006, would be making his big league debut.

“We’re still working through that a little bit,” Francona said.

Guilmet, 25, was a ninth-round draft pick in 2009 and has yet to appear in the majors, but he’s had a top-shelf season as Columbus’ closer, going 2-4 with a 2.32 ERA and 16 saves over 34 games.

“Organizationally, it’s kind of a nice day,” Francona said. “He’s worked his way up all the way from rookie ball. On every level, he’s succeeded.”

Picking it up

Lonnie Chisenhall appears to have figured out things a bit since returning from Columbus.

Chisenhall was demoted after struggling at the plate to start the season, but since his recall June 18 is batting .296 (16-for-54) with two home runs and seven RBIs over 16 games.

Over his last 10 games, Chisenhall is batting .333 (11-for-33), going 2-for-3 with his fifth homer Sunday in the Indians’ 9-6 victory over the Tigers.

It looks as though Francona is doing his best to limit Chisenhall’s at-bats against left-handed pitching — an area in which the left-handed-hitting third baseman has struggled in the past. Chisenhall is 1-for-9 against lefties since his return.

Roundin’ third

  • It is Omar Vizquel “Bobblehead Night” today, with Vizquel scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
  • Former Indians pitcher Len Barker (1979-83) celebrated his 58th birthday Sunday.

Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or cassenheimer@chroniclet.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.