Indians’ Carrasco not fazed by rough day against White Sox
GLENDALE, Arizona (AP) — Carlos Carrasco has had better days, but it’s early enough that he could keep things in perspective.
After all, he already knows real disappointment — hit by a line drive last September, the Cleveland pitcher was sidelined by a broken right hand for the Indians’ entire run to the World Series.
Carrasco was tagged by the Chicago White Sox for eight runs and eight hits in 1 2/3 innings Monday.
“Not good today,” he said. “But it’s spring training, and I just wanted to throw my fastball.”
The White Sox, who scored 14 runs in the ninth inning against the Dodgers on Sunday night, roughed up Carrasco for eight runs in the second. Cody Asche and Rymer Liriano hit two-run homers and Tyler Saladino, who started the inning with a single, ended Carrasco’s day with a grand slam.
Carrasco was coming off three hitless innings against Seattle in his previous spring start.
“A couple of pitches were up and those guys got me,” he said. “But I prefer keeping those runs down here instead of during the season.”
After exiting the mound, Carrasco went down to the bullpen for some more work. He’s still catching up from last year.
“We were trying to let him get through the inning,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “But it got to a point where we wanted to get him down to the bullpen and get his work in there.”
Carrasco, who turns 30 on March 21, had a 3.32 ERA for the Central Division champion last year. But he didn’t pitch in the postseason after being hit by a line drive on Sept. 17.
Despite that, Carrasco said he feels like he is about where he should be for spring training.
“I feel fine. I hadn’t thrown for five months,” he said, adding that relying on the heat helps him build up his arm strength. “I just want to get the feel for my fastball.”
That might’ve cost him in the box score.
“He shook off a lot for the fastball. The results weren’t very good,” Francona said. “Mickey (Callaway, the pitching coach) and I will check with him, and make sure everything’s OK.”
A day after Cleveland said second baseman Jason Kipnis might miss opening day with a shoulder injury, outfielder Michael Brantley continued to make progress. The All-Star participated in his third simulated game of the spring in the morning, facing Indians ace reliever Cody Allen.
Brantley is still working his way back from a shoulder injury late in the 2015 season that limited him to 11 games last year.
“We’re shooting for opening day,” Francona said. “Right now we’re just completely going on what the medical people say. When they give him the go-ahead, we’ll gladly write his name in the lineup.”
“I don’t want him to do it too quickly,” he said.
Kipnis has been bothered by a sore right shoulder and will not participate in any baseball activities for two weeks. Francona said for now the Indians aren’t considering going outside the organization to find a replacement for the All-Star second baseman.
“The good side is we have 2 1/2 weeks to consider options,” Francona said. “Some of it might be dependent on how long we think Kip’s going to miss. The best thing we can do is get a good look at everybody at our camp. Sometimes you go out looking and you have the guy right in front of you.”
Francona said the Indians are looking at Michael Martinez and Erik Gonzalez as possible fill-ins for Kipnis. Moving third baseman Jose Ramirez back to his original position is also possible.