Carrasco set to return to mound after scary incident

April 21, 2015

Carlos Carrasco had to exit in the first inning of his second start after being struck by a line drive.

He'll try to shake off last week's scary incident Tuesday night against the Chicago White Sox in his first outing since, though the Cleveland Indians' bullpen appears to be the bigger question mark after Monday's loss.

Carrasco (1-1, 2.84 ERA) had his start pushed back a day to give him extra time to recuperate after Melky Cabrera's liner hit him on the jaw on his on his eighth pitch against the White Sox last Tuesday.

"It doesn't really do anything other than give him another day," manager Terry Francona said.


Carrasco, charged with the loss after not recording an out in the 4-1 defeat, caught a piece of the ball with his glove to lessen the impact. He threw a bullpen session Friday without any problems.

The right-hander had given up one run over 15 1-3 innings while winning his last two starts against Chicago.

Francona might be more worried about the back end of his relief corps after the collapse in Monday's 4-3 loss. Trevor Bauer combined with Nick Hagadone and Bryan Shaw to go eight innings, but closer Cody Allen surrendered four runs while recording one out.

"If I have that much concern, I would have taken him out," Francona said of Allen. "At no point, I thought he was going to get out of it pretty much the whole inning. That's how much faith I have in him."

Closing out games is a problem that has spilled into 2015 for the Indians (4-8), whose bullpen has gone 0-3 with a 5.23 ERA in the last eight contests. They blew 22 saves in 2014 and have converted only 14 of 25 opportunities in their last 51 games.

Perhaps Monday's big ninth inning can serve as a rallying point for the White Sox (5-7), who had scored two or fewer runs in three of four. Cabrera, who drove in the winning run, is 6 for 11 against Carrasco.

Chicago's Hector Noesi (0-1, 3.84) struggled to find his command in his first start. He walked six and hit another while yielding two runs in 4 2-3 innings of a 6-0 loss to Minnesota on April 10. The damage could have been worse, however, as he left the bases loaded twice.

"He kind of did a Houdini there, getting in and out of stuff, but you can't load the bases that many times and expect good results," manager Robin Ventura told MLB's official website.

Noesi is 1-1 with a 4.23 ERA in five games against Cleveland, walking 10 in 27 2-3 innings.

Michael Bourn, batting .200 with 13 strikeouts in 11 games, was given the day off Monday. He might be able to use this matchup to get on track as he's 4 for 7 with a home run off Noesi.

Ryan Raburn homered Monday and continues to give Chicago problems at U.S. Cellular Field, hitting .364 with 22 RBIs in his last 18 games there.

Michael Brantley has recorded at least one hit in 20 of his last 22 matchups with the White Sox.