LEADING OFF: Carrasco, Frazier, Zobrist up as rosters expand
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since late May when he was diagnosed with leukemia, will be reinstated from the 60-day injured list for a game at Tampa Bay. Carrasco made four rehab appearances with Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus, permitting one run while striking out eight in five innings. He’ll start up in Cleveland’s bullpen as he continues to build endurance in his arm.
“Great feeling, back to the baseball field,” Carrasco said on Instagram.
The Yankees figure to take full advantage when rosters expand for September. Outfielder Clint Frazier is expected to rejoin the big club after being demoted to Triple-A in mid-June. The 24-year-old hit .283 with 11 homers and an .843 OPS in 53 major league games, but he made several embarrassing miscues in right field and was tasked with sharpening his defense. New York could also get reinforcements in the bullpen after using seven relievers during a 4-3, 11-inning win over Oakland on Saturday.
The Cubs expect to activate veteran Ben Zobrist. The utility player has been on the restricted list since May 8 while going through a divorce. He’s hitting .189 with two homers in 12 minor league games spanning four levels.
This is the last year clubs can expand rosters to up to 40 players. Beginning next season, September rosters will be capped at 28 as part of an agreement reached by MLB and the players’ union in March.
Cubs RHP Yu Darvish (5-6, 4.25) and his new knuckle curveball are set to take on the Brewers. The Japanese right-hander began using Craig Kimbrel’s spike-curve grip in a start against the Mets last week and pitched eight innings of one-run ball — his longest outing since signing with Chicago prior to the 2018 season. Darvish stunned manager Joe Maddon by working the pitch into his repertoire so seamlessly after Kimbrel showed him the grip about a week earlier. LHP Gio Gonzalez (2-2, 4.34) is tabbed to start for Milwaukee, which ended the Cubs’ four-game winning streak Saturday.
READY TO GO
Sean Manaea is scheduled to start for Oakland at Yankee Stadium, making his season debut after recovering from left shoulder surgery. Manaea went 12-9 with a 3.59 ERA in 27 starts last year and pitched a no-hitter in April against eventual World Series champion Boston. He was sidelined in late August and had surgery on Sept. 19. The 27-year-old left-hander has been rehabbing in the minors this season, going 3-3 with a 4.71 ERA in eight starts — and his most recent one was a gem. Manaea struck out 12 over seven shutout innings of two-hit ball for Triple-A Las Vegas on Aug. 23 at Tacoma. Oakland is locked in a tight race with Cleveland and Tampa Bay for the two American League wild cards.