GOODYEAR, Ariz.: Manager Terry Francona might have given away the Indians’ intentions regarding right-hander Carlos Carrasco with his lofty praise Tuesday.
“His stuff is top-of-the-rotation stuff across the board,” Francona said before the Indians hosted the San Francisco Giants for a 10:05 p.m. game in Goodyear Ballpark.
Carrasco is out of minor-league options. Coupled with Francona’s comment, that makes it a near certainty that barring injury, Carrasco will be on the Indians’ 25-man roster for Opening Day, either by claiming the last remaining spot in the rotation or as a member of the bullpen.
His main competitors for the starting job are Josh Tomlin and Aaron Harang. Tomlin has three options remaining; Harang is signed to a minor-league free-agent contract.
“We were talking about that today. I’d be lying if I said that didn’t come into play,” Francona said. “That’s part of baseball. It’s part of our obligation to not only set the roster, but also take care of the organization.
“If the guy is on the crossroads, if they don’t have options left, it makes you make a decision. You know you can’t go into the season with 11 or 12 pitchers and carry them through the whole year. It’s not realistic.”
Right fielder Ryan Raburn returned following the birth of his second daughter, Raelyn Grace, in Tampa on Thursday. Raburn said he barely got to the hospital before his daughter was delivered.
“I showed up and 20 minutes later there’s a baby. I don’t think I could have planned it any closer than that,” he said. “I was trying to hold her off until at least midnight because now she’s got [Mike] Aviles’ birthday.”
Raburn said his left knee is still sore following a collision with the wall in Mesa on March 7.
He will be the Indians’ designated hitter today against the Oakland A’s, Francona said, then will likely bat in a minor-league game on the Tribe’s day off Thursday.
The Indians re-signed right-hander Adam Miller, who was plagued by finger problems in his previous stint with the Tribe, to a minor-league contract. A former top prospect in the organization after being drafted 31st overall in 2003, Miller was in camp on a tryout. Miller’s Twitter handle is @thafinger28. … Minor-leaguer Tyler Holt, who was hurt sliding in the left-field corner trying to field the Reds’ game-winning double Monday against the Indians, is day-to-day with an upper back and neck strain. … Francona on Grady Sizemore’s attempted comeback with the Boston Red Sox: “He looked like he was going to be one of the faces of baseball and unfortunately his knees didn’t cooperate. I’m sure for him to get where he’s gotten, he’s probably worked unbelievably hard.” … Nyjer Morgan started in center field against the Giants after missing five days with a left calf strain.
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