Carrasco removed from rotation, McAllister to start Wednesday
"We've put Carlos in the bullpen," Francona told Indians reporters after the game on Monday night. "That way we kind of fortify our bullpen. Hopefully, we can get him on a roll and he can help us out there."
Carrasco, 27, was 0-3 with a 6.95 ERA in four starts. He is averaging more than a strikeout an inning and has some good peripheral numbers, but his penchant for allowing a good amount of baserunners and not keeping them from scoring really hurt his chances to stick in the rotation. His comments to the media over the weekend about his delivery changes may have been the final straw which pushed him out of the rotation a little sooner than expected.
The move so early in the season is unfortunate as the Indians decision to go with Carrasco as the fifth starter from the outset of the offseason cost them Aaron Harang who is off to a great start with the Braves. In five starts Harang is 3-1 with a league leading 0.85 ERA.
Carrasco will now get a chance to shine as a reliever, something that he did last season in a short sample size of eight appearances when he compiled a 1.32 ERA, .156 batting average against and 2.20 strikeout to walk ratio - numbers which were all signficantly better out of the bullpen than as a starter. It will be interesting to see how his early season peripheral numbers translate to the bullpen, and if they do, then the Indians may have themselves a potential impactful bullpen arm on the horizon.
Zach McAllister will start on short rest on Wednesday, though the Indians are comfortable with him starting since he threw just 75 pitches in his start on Saturday. Also, Carrasco would seemingly be in line to piggyback McAllister if he is unable to get through five or six innings.
As to who replaces Carrasco in the rotation? The Indians have yet to fomally announce such a decision. With an off day on Thursday they will not need a fifth starter until next Tuesday May 6th when they host the Twins. The expectation is that Trevor Bauer will slide into that spot, especially with the way he has pitched this season and his service time clock has conveniently aligned.
The other decision to be made will be whether the Indians send down a reliever to activate Bauer or if they send out a position player. C.C. Lee could be in danger of being optioned to Columbus, but he has pitched well and Francona likes his eight-man bullpen. Elliot Johnson would seem to be the best option to go, though he might go before then when the Indians add a catcher this week once Yan Gomes goes on paternity leave. If that happens, then the catcher that is added would likely go in order to add a fifth starter.
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In 2011 Simon was a starter with the Orioles, was getting terrible results. Record 4-9 4.90 ERA . He also had very little success during 08-10 seasons with the O's.
At the beginning 2012 the O's put him on waivers, and the Red picked him up. For the next 2 yrs he was in the Reds bullpen for long to middle relief. The pitching coach, now manager Bryan Price worked on the mechanics of his delivery. Simon had 2 successful yrs in the bullpen and got his confidence back.
2014 Mat Latos goes down with knee and arm injury during spring training. The Reds decided to move Simon into the starting rotation, The current results is he is 4-1 1.60 ERA. He now wants to stay permanently in the rotation.
Maybe Carrasco need to spend time in the bullpen to perfect his new delivery and regain his confidence. Maybe some where down the road we might see Carrasco as a starter again. You never know.
I do still think he could return to starting, though probably not with Cleveland. We did see Westbrook bounce around a lot early on, finally after 7 perfect innings in relief got a long-term shot at the rotation and stuck. Carrasco is no Westbrook mentally but I've seen stranger things. Change of scenery is probably in order though.
It is disappointing- like Rich, it's probably not totally out of the question for him to maybe get a spot start if needed, or maybe to be in consideration if/when Masterson departs. Though did the Indians partly move him to the bullpen so that what he is more comfortable in doing with his delivery is more effective (i.e. He can air it out more and only face a lineup once or twice at most)? If that's the case, it would be doubtful he'll be moved back into the rotation because he still won't be comfortable repeating the delivery changes if he reverts back to his old throwing motion in the bullpen.
OhioBaseball, as I mentioned in another thread, while Carrasco is 27, he's only made 44 ML starts over that time, equivalent to a second-year starter, and 52 total ML appearances, equivalent to a first-year or second-year reliever- his struggling and failing to show us something consistently isn't uncommon with that little experience. If he was as experienced as say, Masterson or Cincinnati's Homer Bailey (both with over 150 ML starts) and was erratic as Bailey was (and Masterson to a but lesser extent), then I'd think Carrasco should have shown us something consistently by now.
With Carrasco's lack of experience, it's not out of the question for him to be the late bloomer type as some pitchers turn out to be. Unfortunately, the Indians' rotation struggles where only McAllister has shown any real consistency (and he even only faltered in his last start, no better than Carrasco, further proving that Carrasco wasn't pitching that badly- Masterson, Kluber, and Salazar have had worse outings), the Indians felt they needed a rotation spot and opted to move Carrasco out instead of Salazar. I do wonder if Salazar would have been the guy if not for the outing on Sunday, as Bauer is matched up perfectly with him, not Carrasco, and I'm not sure starting McAllister on short rest was the Indians' first, preferred option.
With all of this being said, the Indians' offense still must do better. Kipnis' injury does leave an interesting thought and opportunity: Will Johnson do more than just sit on the bench, or could Ramirez have an opportunity for some regular playing time at 2B in Kipnis' absence?
None on: .216/.683
Runners on: .394/.951
That's about as dramatic a split as I've ever seen. He totally falls apart as soon as anybody gets on base. He's either unable to throw his pitches effectively from the stretch or he just loses his concentration on the batter when he has to hold baserunners. Or maybe he doesn't want to throw his breaking ball with runners on and resorts to the fastball, and gets hammered. Or he chokes under pressure.
If they're going to use him out of the pen they need to bring him in to start an inning, not with runners on.
By the way, his BAA for pitches 1-15 is .333, for 16-30 it's .400, from 31-45 it's .250, and from 46-60 it's .118 (2-for-17). Those numbers surprised me because I thought he was great the first time through the order and got lit up the second time through, but not according to those numbers. Unless these numbers change dramatically he won't be effective out of the pen, either.
If he makes the change successfully and starts putting up numbers like he did last year in the pen, he might get a spot start when they need someone to fill in for a makeup game. That's when he'll have a chance to get another shot at the rotation.
Masterson is pretty sure to be gone next year which opens up a spot. If Carrasco can dedicate the rest of this season to putting his mechanics in order and doing exactly what Callaway wants him to (keeping in mind that Callaway fixed Ubaldo last year), then he could put himself in the mix for another shot next year when Masterson leaves.
I think Chris Cotillo of mlb.com? Suggested as much, but I'm not sure if they are looking for depth or more.
Put him in the bullpen and let him blow people away Jose Mesa style. (Note: Don't let him pitch in game seven of the World Series)
I noted this in the Second Thoughts thread, but will add it here. We keep hearing K/9 this. xFIP that. ERA here. LOB% there. A lot of these numbers appear to being used in a vacuum. I mean, Cody Allen has a 13.5 K/9, 4.2 BB/9, .375 BABIP, 80.8% LOB%, 2.53 ERA, 2.71 FIP and 2.71 xFIP. Should we be clamoring for him to be in the rotation as the numbers suggest? He has every bit the impressive arsenal as Carrasco. Obviously he is not someone to figure into the rotation, which is why things often times goes beyond the numbers but the quality of the innings, the effectiveness of the stuff over a longer duration of innings, and so on. With all of the numbers I keep seeing posted about Carrasco I keep seeing more evidence that he could be a pretty damn good reliever along the lines of Cody Allen. Look at Carrasco's history facing a lineup a second or third time versus one time. In short stints and facing a lineup once in the pen he could potentially be dominant, but in the rotation facing a lineup multiple times he continues to struggle. Sometimes a guy is just a reliever. You can't hold out forever for a guy to get it.
I've loved Trevor Bauer for years and even so I think he's only got so many innings in his arm. When he was at UCLA his arm really had some usage -- he ran pitch counts above 120 often AND between innings he sometimes would go to the pen and throw a couple dozen pitches (with high effort) to stay warm. I'm not sure there's a perfect correlation between pitch counts and injury, but it's probably not good long-term. He's warm up routines were also widely questioned. I think predicting injuries is a fool's game, but if he's ready for MLB it's stupid to have him waste innings in Triple-A at this point given his service clock.
The Indians aren't a good enough team to sit and wait for Carlos Carrasco, a 27 year old, to see if he's really a MLB starter. He's not, otherwise he would have shown us by now. Let's move on.
One thing I'm interesting in is how much of a leash does Salazar have now? Good start in SF but up to that point was worse than Carrasco. If he were to revert back and struggle again over his next 3-4 starts...do you go with Tomlin or give Carrasco another shot should he pitch well out of the pen?
Still a pretty disappointing outcome though. Pitched so well there in 2011 before the injury and looked like he was becoming the pitcher we hoped for when he was acquired...throw in the solid FIP/xFIP and the bump in K-rate this year....
Guess it just wasn't meant to be in Cleveland with Carrasco as a starter. Though who knows...maybe he does so well in the pen that the Tribe gives him a shot again (not holding my breath though)...wouldn't be the first time we've seen it in Cleveland...
How about benching some for defensive lapses. No that wouldn't work it's 5 - 6 every game. Seth your right Harang's era would be over 4 with the Tribe. .. How about bringing up Urshella, Lindor, Ramirez and someone at first that catch and field a ball for 3 games. Maybe some decent baseball in the field.
Joe, it looks like Carrasco is in the pen for good with the Indians unless a bout of injuries force them to start him.
Shy, your point of the Tribe being in last place in a pretty good division is right on point. Between the terrible hitting, especially with men on base, and the lack of good team defence is really a concern. The idea of making a lot of these players moving around, and playing more than one position (Swisher, Santana) could be coming back to bite them. I wish they would just put an evert day lineup out there and let them play. Instead of becoming solid at one position, they are becoming shaky in 2 or 3. Though I like Tito as the manager, I don't like some of the recent moves. And I don't want to hear about what they did last year after a bad start. That's history. This team seems to be unsettled right now. Some moves need to be made soon, otherwise we will be looking up at 4 teams, rather than 1.