Carrasco continues to make progress, will face hitters on Friday

The 32-year-old hopes to return to the field this season

James Rapien
August 13, 2019 - 5:37 pm
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CLEVELAND, OH – Carlos Carrasco will face hitters from Mahoning Valley or Lake County on Friday for the first time since being diagnosed with leukemia. 

The simulation game will take place at Progressive Field. Carrasco threw a bullpen session on Tuesday. 

The 32-year-old ran sprints and fielded ground balls off the mound after his throwing session. The Indians haven’t specified on how he would contribute to the team if he does return, but they could put him in the bullpen.

“He wants to face some hitters on Friday,” Terry Francona said Tuesday. “The idea that he wants to, I think is terrific, but there’s gotta be some sign off from the medical people. But the fact that he feels he’s ready to do that is tremendous.”

Carrasco was diagnosed with leukemia earlier this season and has been on the injured list since June 5. He hopes to return to the mound at some point this year.

The organization certainly isn’t expecting him to return to the mound this season, but they’re open to it. Carrasco continues to workout in hopes of contributing at some point this year. If he does, it makes sense to wait until September 1 when MLB teams go from 25-man rosters to 40-man rosters. That way the Indians can ease him back into things, without placing high expectations on him. They’d have plenty of other options at their disposal if things didn’t go well.

“We’d love for him to come back and pitch,” Francona said. “But if this is what helps him get through the day, if that’s what it leads to, we’re OK with that, too.”

Carrasco is battling an awful disease, but that hasn’t prevented him from being around his teammates and working out on a regular basis. It’s easy to count him out, but a return is looking more and more likely. If he can face hitters this week, then it’ll be time to seriously consider the impact he could have on this team in the final month of the season and the playoffs.