SAN FRANCISCO: After another mediocre start that led to the Indians’ 5-1 defeat Friday, a frustrated Carlos Carrasco thought he was just being honest when he told reporters that he felt his revamped delivery was slowing down his fastball velocity.
After working all offseason on raising his left lead arm in his delivery in an effort to help create more deception with his pitches, the struggling Indians right-hander continues to battle the new mechanics — as witnessed by an 0-3 record and 6.95 ERA through his first four starts.
But what alarmed the Tribe brass after another rocky outing by Carrasco was his belief that his velocity was down, coupled with his switch to his old form in an effort to get through Friday’s tough six-inning outing.
Thus, Indians manager Terry Francona and pitching coach Mickey Callaway wasted no time calling Carrasco into an office Saturday morning. Not only did they want to dispel the young pitcher’s belief of decreased velocity from the previous night, but they wanted to make sure he remained committed to the tweaked delivery.
“We’re trying to put him in the best position to succeed, so we visited with him about that,” Francona said. “I know he said something about when his arm’s up, he was throwing 92 [mph]. Maybe that’s what it feels like, but that’s not the case. He was at 94-96 to the first two hitters of the game. But they got hits.
“We tried to just stress to him, ‘Hey, if that’s how you feel, talk to Mickey so he can help you.’ He said he understands and wants to feel comfortable — that’s his goal. But we asked him that, because again, we’re not going to make someone do something they don’t want to do.”
Stephanie Storm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.