Carlos Carrasco was the prize in the Cliff Lee trade with Philadelphia in July of 2009, having been ranked by Baseball America as the 52nd-best prospect in all of baseball prior to the season and the Phillies’ top prospect in both 2007 and 2008. While Jason Knapp and Jason Donald never established themselves in Cleveland, Carrasco and Lou Marson are still around, so there is hope still, nearly four years later.
Carrasco has pitched fairly well for the Indians since arriving in Cleveland, though his overall numbers don’t show it:
Carrasco had a nice run in 2011, and that was after he spent time on the disabled list due to elbow inflammation. He went 7-3 with a 2.91 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP and a 3.23 K/BB ratio over 10 starts and 65 innings. Then the wheels came off. Carrasco went 0-6 with a 7.92 ERA, a 1.99 WHIP, and a 1.47 K/BB ratio over his final six starts prior to Tommy John surgery, which cost him all of the 2012 season.
Carrasco was on the Opening Day roster and he served a suspension for throwing at the head of Kansas City Royals first baseman Billy Butler while he was waiting for his turn in the rotation. So in his first game back on Tuesday night, what did Carrasco do? He plunked Kevin Youkilis right after serving up a home run to Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano.
How careless can you be?
Major League Baseball had helped the Indians out by decreasing Carrasco’s suspension from six games to five games, and the first game back, he hits another batter? Do you think MLB will go easy on him this time? How can the upcoming suspension damage the Indians roster?
It certainly has to be frustrating to work so hard to come back from a major surgery only to be obliterated by the opposition in your first start. The Yankees and Kevin Youkilis have to be happy that the pitch didn’t break a hamate bone or cause a concussion considering the already injury-riddled roster, but manager Joe Girardi didn’t seem too happy:
“No one ever knows if a guy truly does it on purpose, but he just came back from a six-day suspension. If it was on purpose, it’s probably going to be longer and it’s not a good idea. If it wasn’t, it looks like it was. Either way, it doesn’t look good.”
Having just turned 26 in March, Carrasco’s career isn’t in jeopardy because of his recent mistake. But what does the decision to hit someone after just returning from suspension say about his mental makeup?
There have been several players over the years whose careers wilted because couldn’t harness their emotions, such as John Rocker, Nyjer Morgan, Milton Bradley, and A.J. Burnett. One wonders at this point if Carrasco is heading down the same path as fellow Venezuelan Carlos Zambrano, whose career appears to be over at the age of 31 due to his decline in stuff and people skills.
The Indians need to figure out a way to get Carrasco under wraps. He is still a work in progress due to his inability to stay on the field and his youth, but the club should have worries about the choice that he made on Tuesday night. Another looming suspension is unacceptable for the well-being of the Tribe, especially as the club hopes to rebuild its image by winning some games this season.
Did Carlos Carrasco bean Kevin Youkilis on purpose?
- Yes (58%, 57 Votes)
- No (42%, 42 Votes)
Total Voters: 99