Cleveland Indians starter Carlos Carrasco continues recovering from Tommy John surgery, completing a 60-pitch bullpen session Tuesday, June 26 at Yankee Stadium. The Tommy John surgery cut Carrasco's 2011 season short and will leave the Tribe starter sidelined throughout 2012.
However, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian's update on Carrasco proves encouraging in the long term.
While no one expects Carlos Carrasco to contribute to the Indians this season, Bastian notes the pitcher could realistically start a minor league rehab stint sometime in August. A successful minor league assignment gives Carrasco momentum heading into 2013.
Looking ahead to 2013, Carlos Carrasco could possibly emerge as an impactful cog within the Indians' starting rotation. Last season Carrasco displayed flashes of brilliance. The starter's overall 8-9 record and 4.62 ERA from 2011 covers up Carrasco's great potential.
Back in June 2011 Carlos Carrasco put up a 0.98 ERA through five starts. Contrastingly, Carrasco in his final six starts before Tommy John surgery compiled a 7.92 ERA. One can infer the reason for the vast difference relates to the pitcher's arm issues.
If Carlos Carrasco comes back healthy in 2013 and can consistently perform half as good as he did in June 2011, the Tribe's rotation for 2013 can become scary dominant. The Indians' top two rotation guys, Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez, should still be under contract.
Justin Masterson doesn't become eligible for free agency until 2015. Ubaldo Jimenez's contract entails a $5.75 million club option with $1 million buyout for next season. Considering what the Tribe gave up in 2011 to acquire Jimenez from the Colorado Rockies, I see the Indians exercising the option without hesitation.
Additionally, the Tribe possess a 2013 club option for starter Roberto Hernandez. Like I mention in my article, "Insight Revealed into When Roberto Hernandez Could Rejoin Cleveland Indians: A Fan's Reaction," Hernandez enjoyed a couple solid seasons with the Tribe despite a career plagued by inconsistencies.
Yet nobody knows how Hernandez will respond once he can put the identity fraud situation behind him. Jordan Bastian indicates, in his team coverage for the Indians website, we could soon find out as Roberto Hernandez might return to the United States by the All-Star break.
Ultimately, between Roberto Hernandez's eventual return and Carlos Carrasco's rehab process, the next year and a half will be interesting at the very least for Cleveland Indians fans.
Zachary Fenell fell in love with the Cleveland Indians during the 1995 season when the Tribe powered their way to the organization's first World Series appearance since 1954. While the Indians lost some allure since the 1990s you will still find Zachary watching the games on TV, listening to them on the radio, or best yet taking in a game from the stands at Progressive Field.
More from This Contributor: