CLEVELAND: Carlos Carrasco might be running out of time to put things together at the major-league level.
Carrasco has at times been solid but hasn’t been able to stay consistent for a five- or six-inning start this season. Entering his outing against the San Francisco Giants today, Carrasco carries a 7.31 ERA and is 0-2.
His slow start has been compounded by Trevor Bauer’s excellence at Triple-A Columbus, where he’s 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 18⅔ innings.
The number of Carrasco’s chances to figure things out might be dwindling, but Indians manager Terry Francona said the team would never go into one of Carrasco’s starts with an ultimatum on that particular outing to determine if he’d be forced out of the rotation or not.
“I don’t think we’d ever do that,” Francona said. “If we ever made a change with somebody, anybody, it would never come down to one start or one at-bat. That would make no sense to me. ... Too much is riding, and to many innings and at-bats, to put it on [one game]. It’s why we didn’t have a pitch-off in spring training.”
If a move were made, Carrasco would likely be moved to the bullpen or be put on waivers to be sent to Triple-A Columbus.
The Indians could also send Danny Salazar (0-3, 7.85 ERA) down to Triple-A because he has an option remaining. That would allow him to figure some things out and would allow Bauer to be called up to the Indians.
ODD REPLAY — The Indians had another run-in with baseball’s new replay system Thursday. Again there was a bit of confusion.
With Asdrubal Cabrera on third base and one out, Jason Kipnis grounded out to first baseman Eric Hosmer, who stepped on first for the second out of the inning. Hosmer then threw home, where catcher Brett Hayes tagged a sliding Cabrera for the third out on a bang-bang play. Francona walked out to crew chief Bill Miller to talk about the call.
There was then an official review, but it wasn’t by the Indians — it was by the crew chief. According to Francona, the crew chief was reviewing whether Hayes had blocked the plate. If he had, Cabrera would be safe. If he hadn’t, which was the ruling, Cabrera would be out.
Either way, the Indians didn’t have to burn one of their challenges to see if Cabrera was safe. If the crew chief is willing to review if it was a blocked plate, the Indians don’t share any of the burden and essentially can review the call risk-free.
“There’s no reason not to, it didn’t cost us anything,” Francona said.
— Ryan Lewis