If all goes well in his final spring training start, the Indians are planning to have Carlos Carrasco in the rotation to open the 2017 season.
Carrasco is behind the other starting pitchers after dealing with discomfort in his right elbow. He threw three innings in his last Cactus League start and still has to be stretched out in order to handle a full workload.
Though, the Indians feel that they would be able to get 4-5 innings of Carrasco in his first start of the regular season. Carrasco will have to be eased into the season, but the club will take what he can give them.
“Yeah I think we feel after his four-inning outing, that he’d going to be ready to go,” said pitching coach Mickey Callaway. “Obviously not stretched out to the point that everybody else is, but we feel that him being Carrasco and a good five innings out of him at 85 pitches is going to be enough for him to move forward and be ready to go.”
If Carrasco can’t go four innings in his final Cactus League start, it could alter the Indians’ plans.
Indians manager Terry Francona also offered some clarity on the starting rotation one week ahead of the April 3 Opening Day game against the Texas Rangers. Per Francona, the Indians will line up the rotation as follows: Corey Kluber, Carrasco, Danny Salazar, Josh Tomlin and Trevor Bauer. The club plans to throw each starter in that order without skipping anyone, which was an option with two off days in the first two weeks.