CLEVELAND: The hammer fell on Carlos Carrasco for the second time in 3⅔ innings, but instead of being handed a six-game suspension, the Indians’ right-hander was given an eight-game ban for hitting Kevin Youkilis with a pitch.
Nevertheless, Carrasco, through General Manager Chris Antonetti and manager Terry Francona, was given the benefit of the doubt.
Asked if he was satisfied with the punishment, Antonetti said: “No. Carlos was very adamant in saying that it was not intentional. The only person who knows if it was intentional or not is Carlos, and he was very convincing.”
The suspension stems from Carrasco’s start against the New York Yankees on Tuesday night, his first in 20 months. After giving up a two-run homer to Robinson Cano with two outs in the fourth inning, Carrasco hit Youkilis in the shoulder and was ejected with the Tribe trailing 7-0.
“He was accountable for the way it looked, but he still said it was not intentional,” Antonetti said.
The incident was similar to Carrasco’s first run-in with Major League Baseball law. In late July of 2011, Carrasco gave up a grand slam to the Kansas City Royals’ Melky Cabrera then threw at the head of Billy Butler but missed.
That act drew a six-game suspension that was held in abeyance while Carrasco underwent elbow reconstruction surgery and went through the recovery process.
He was added to the active roster at the outset of this season, not to pitch, but to serve his suspension. Consequently, Carrasco’s outing against the Yankees was his first in more than 20 months.
To say that he didn’t make the most of it would be a gross understatement. Now he will decide if he wants to appeal the latest penalty.
Carrasco was optioned to Triple-A on Wednesday, but he cannot serve the suspension until he returns to the big leagues. There is no timetable for when that will happen.
Giving up seven runs in 3⅔ innings might indicate he has a long way to go before he is ready. Antonetti isn’t so sure, in part because Carrasco was throwing 96-97 mile-per-hour fastballs.
Antonetti doesn’t seem concerned that Carrasco will be viewed as a perpetual headhunter.
“We’re not really focused on that,” Antonetti said. “Carlos isn’t either.”
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Indians blog at http://www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SheldonOckerABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.