After Monday’s 6-3 loss to the host Los Angeles Angels sent the free-falling Indians to their fourth consecutive loss, manager Terry Francona confirmed that right-hander Carlos Carrasco had been moved to the bullpen.
“That was can fortify our bullpen and get (Carrasco) on a roll,” Francona said.
The struggling Carrasco was 0-3 with a 6.95 ERA in four starts, but the final straw that seemed to snuff his starting aspirations (for the time being, at least) came over the weekend after his last start against the San Francisco Giants.
Following Friday’s loss, a frustrated Carrasco seemed to be searching for answers when he told reporters after the game he felt his velocity had decreased while utilizing the revamped delivery that the Indians had spent all off season working with him on.
The next day, Francona and pitching coach Mickey Callaway sat down with Carrasco to show him that wasn’t the case.
While Carrasco tries to figure out his issues in the Tribe 'pen, right-hander Zach McAllister (3-1, 3.14 ERA) is scheduled to start the final game of the six-game road trip Wednesday on short rest.
“(McAllister) threw 75 pitches in his outing, so he’s in good shape to go Wednesday,” Francona said. “We talked to Zach about it at length just to make sure he’s fine.”
McAllister reiterated that he was indeed good with to start early.
“I feel fine,” McAllister said of the plan to start Wednesday on just three days rest. “(My last start) was a shorter outing for me as far as pitch count goes. I was able to bounce back and feel good. I have no issues with it. It’s not a problem for me at all.”
Monday night, Francona couldn’t be pinned down on his opinion regarding Carrasco’s long-term fate.
“We’ll see,” he said. “I just think that for our team, for him, I think if we have a chance to try to give him some more confidence and at the same time win us some games and fortify the bullpen.”
Although the Carrasco move buys the Indians some time – they won’t need a fifth starter until May 6th thanks to Thursday’s off day.