The Cleveland Indians’ starting rotation took a hit on Monday afternoon when word came back that right-handed pitcher Carlos Carrasco strained his hamstring during his start against the Detroit Tigers on Sunday and would be placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Carrasco underwent an MRI exam on Monday afternoon and was diagnosed with a strain of his left hamstring, an ailment that could keep him on the shelf for up to six weeks.
Carrasco sustained the injury in the third inning of Cleveland’s 6-3 victory while covering first base on a ground ball off Andrew Romine’s bat. Carrasco appeared to be searching for the bag with his right leg while paying attention to first baseman Carlos Santana, who fielded the ball. While receiving the throw from Santana, however, Carrasco fell down in pain. He did manage to keep his foot on the first-base bag long enough to record a 3-1 putout for the second out of the frame, but needed assistance from the Indians’ training staff to walk off the field.
The injury to Carrasco is a calamity for the Indians, who are relying heavily on their starting staff this season to lead them to their first postseason appearance since 2013. Replacing Carrasco in the rotation will be Trevor Bauer, who began the 2016 campaign as a relief pitcher. In 11.1 innings of work for the Tribe, Bauer struck out fourteen batters.
The Indians were impressed by Carrasco last season, as the right-hander won fourteen of his 30 starts and piled 216 punchouts in just shy of 184 innings. If it weren’t for Corey Kluber, Carrasco likely would have entered the 2016 season as Cleveland’s number-one starter. It’s also not a stretch to say that Carrasco would be the top starter in several other major-league pitching staffs.
Carrasco got off to a fine start for the Indians this year, boasting a 0.95 WHIP across four April starts. In those starts — which spanned 22 innings — Carrasco managed a 4:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and held his opposition to a .200 batting average.