CLEVELAND: Carlos Carrasco understands this is his chance to make his mark in the major leagues.
And he’s trying to block out all of the other factors — like how terrific Trevor Bauer has been in Triple-A, or that he still hasn’t put it all together on the mound in Cleveland.
“I really have my chance right now,” Carrasco said Saturday. “It’s a big opportunity that they’ve given me and I need to show something.”
Carrasco’s numbers haven’t shown a lot of positivity, albeit in a small sample size. In his two starts this season, he’s 0-2 with a 7.84 ERA. But he’s also struck out more than a batter an inning (10.45 K/9 rate). Bauer, meanwhile, at Triple-A Columbus is 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 12 innings pitched.
Manager Terry Francona made it clear earlier this season that, because of some of the tools he’s shown at times, the Indians would give Carrasco his shot to establish himself as a major-league starter. He’ll get another chance Sunday when he takes the mound against Toronto.
But as long as Bauer excels and Carrasco continues to tempt the Indians with flashes of brilliance but not the entire package, the number of chances he has to put things together might not be as high as when the season started, so Sunday’s start could be crucial for him if he can show he’s made strides in the right direction.
“I feel good with myself,” Carrasco said of the pressures in this opportunity. “Some things go in, some things go out. But I try to fight with that. But sometimes we’re human.”
Francona on Saturday again reiterated that Carrasco has shown the tools to be an effective starting pitcher who can go deep into games. He’s flashed it in the bullpen, just not yet on the mound.
“Carlos is probably one of the [more fun] guys to watch in the bullpen, his stuff is so crisp,” Francona said. “And he commands so well. Sometimes when he gets amped up or tries to do a little bit more, that’s when those balls wander over the plate.”
Carrasco said the one thing he needs to do is pitch deeper into games. In an effort to do that, he’s trying to force himself to settle down and stay back in his delivery.
“Sometimes I rush myself,” he said.
When he does that, his arm slot tends to drop and he loses his command. Staying back in his delivery, which involves slowing down and turning his left shoulder a bit more toward third base, as he demonstrated, gives him better leverage and improves the command on his fastball.
“I feel when I stay back a little more, all the pitches are right there [where I want them],” he said.
Carrasco is out of options, so if the Indians did at some point decide to make a move, he’d either have to clear waivers to be sent down to the minors or could be moved to the bullpen.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.