Carrasco running out of chances to prove he’s starting rotation material

After giving up five earned runs in an April 11 loss at Chicago, Carrasco has been working with pitching coach Mickey Callaway on being more balanced in his delivery

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CLEVELAND — Carlos Carrasco said throughout spring training that he was ready both physically and mentally to be a starting Major League pitcher. After two outings where he has given up nine earned runs in 10 1/3 innings, Carrasco knows Sunday’s start against Toronto might be one last opportunity to show he can remain in the rotation.

"This start is really important because my two outings so far were not good. I need to feel confident in myself and get my work done," he said.

After giving up five earned runs in an April 11 loss at Chicago, manager Terry Francona decided to skip Carrasco’s turn in the rotation since the Indians had an off day on April 14 and he wanted to keep Justin Masterson on his normal schedule. Carrasco was available for bullpen duty in Detroit but was not used.

Since the start in Chicago, Carrasco has been working with pitching coach Mickey Callaway on being more balanced in his delivery along with being quicker in his delivery. Carrasco has struggled when he’s slowed down his tempo.

Carrasco (0-2, 7.84 ERA) is also continuing to struggle between being aggressive and being too perfect on pitches. When he has tried being too perfect, he has had control problems.

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Even Francona doesn’t know what to expect from his right-hander. Francona said that Carrasco is one of the more fun guys to watch throw a bullpen session because of his crisp delivery and command, but that hasn’t translated into games.

"I think sometimes when the game starts and he tries to get a little too amped up, that’s when some of those balls wander all over the plate," Francona said. "He’s big, strong and has a clean delivery. Sometimes so clean that hitters probably see the ball pretty good. He’s built to log innings. We just have to get him to the point in games where he can believe he will do that."

OFF DAY FOR BOURN: After being in the lineup for three straight games, outfielder Michael Bourn got the day off on Saturday.

Bourn said he wanted to go two or three straight after coming off the disabled list on Tuesday since he didn’t get a chance to string together that many games during spring training. Bourn strained his left hamstring on March 16 against San Francisco.

"Now I have to make up for it when it really counts. My legs don’t feel too bad. A little heavy but I will be alright," Bourn said. "They are going to be heavy at the beginning. It won’t take me too long to get back into shape."

Bourn is 1 for 13 and has drawn two walks. He was 0 for 5 in Friday’s loss and was unable to lay down a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the ninth after Lonnie Chisenhall led off the inning with a bunt.

"I’m usually OK at laying a sacrifice bunt but I just missed it. There’s no way around it," Bourn said. "I could have got Chisenhall over to third to make it easy on (Nick) Swisher. We almost rebounded but we came up a little short."

LOWERY INJURED: Akron’s Jake Lowery suffered a right orbital fracture during last night’s Double-A game between the RubberDucks and Bowie. Lowery was hit by a pitch in the facial area by Bowie’s Jake Pettit during the fourth inning. He is scheduled to be examined at the Cleveland Clinic early next week to further establish plan of treatment and recovery.