CLEVELAND — The Indians are remaining cautious with Carlos Carrasco, but as his own excitement builds, so does the team's.

Carrasco, on the injured list as he battles chronic myeloid leukemia, has thrown 2 2/3 hitless innings with five strikeouts in two rehab appearances with the RubberDucks. By all accounts, he's looked strong and his velocity has been strong.

The Indians have been steadfast in their stance that they wouldn't put a timetable on his return. As Carrasco began to throw, it was only because of his desire to do so. But now, as he builds up and appears to be strong, excitement on both sides is growing that he could contribute to the Indians bullpen this season.

Carrasco is next slated to throw "two-ish" innings, according to manager Terry Francona, for Triple-A Columbus on Sunday. He'll then be given a few days off, throw another outing, get a few more days off, and then other outing, and so forth. The Indians will also check in with Carrasco each step of the way.

"I think he’s excited about where he is [and] because of that, we got excited," Francona said Friday. "I think we need to remember that he missed three months and he’s pitched twice. We’ve said it before but you can’t just care about somebody’s well-being when it’s convenient. That doesn’t make sense.

"I told him, 'I’d love to have you back yesterday,' because I think you put him in our bullpen, he has the chance to do some special things. I think we need to do this right for him.”

No stone unturned

Ace Corey Kluber is undergoing additional imaging after sustaining an internal oblique strain during a rehab appearance Sunday. He has been shut down from throwing and will be reevaluated two weeks out from the injury.

The Indians said they don't expect that timeline to change too much, but they want to ensure there isn't any way to expedite the process. Kluber's setback was a significant one for the Indians and their rotation.

"It’s probably not going to alter the timetable a ton either way, but you just kinda don’t want to leave any stone unturned," Francona said.

Let 'em dress?

Major League Baseball's Players' Weekend began on Friday with the Indians wearing all-black uniforms with customized names on the back of their jerseys.

Not everyone is a fan of the all-black look, though.

“What’s the slogan? ‘Let the kids play? Let the grown-ups look like morons?'" Francona joked with reporters pregame. "I saw [coach] Brian Sweeney walking down the hallway and I said, ‘I hope I don’t look as stupid as you do.’ And then three guys said, ‘You look worse.’”

Ryan Lewis can be reached at rlewis@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Indians blog at www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at @ByRyanLewis.