The Curious Case Of Carlos Carrasco’s Suspension

Carlos Carrasco will report to Goodyear Arizona for spring training next month as he continues his quest to return from Tommy John surgery performed by Dr. David Alcheck on September 14, 2011. His last MLB start was on August 3, 2011 against the Boston Red Sox and he pitched well (seven innings, three earned runs, five strikeouts) despite not getting a decision as Jacoby Ellsbury launched a homer off Tribe reliever Joe Smith in the bottom of the nintg to defeat the Indians 4-3.

But it was his July 29th start versus the Kansas City Royals which has since resulted in an interesting dilemma for Carrasco and the Indians as he makes his way back to the club. The Royals had already put up seven runs on him when Billy Butler, who had already homered in the first, stepped to the plate immediately after Melky Cabrera crushed a grand slam to put the Royals up 7-0. Carrasco’s first pitch was delivered up around the head; he was immediately ejected and a day later was suspended for six games by Major League Baseball and fined an undisclosed amount.

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Predictably, he appealed the suspension and claimed that, although he was irked at Cabrera for admiring his grand slam, the pitch to Bulter was unintentional. By appealing his suspension, the Indians planned on having him make his next start versus the Red Sox, appeal the suspension, and thanks to having an extra start by newly acquired Ubaldo Jimenez along with an offday the following Monday he would serve his supsension but not miss a turn in the rotation. As planned he dropped his appeal the day after his final start against the Red Sox and planned to return shortly after serving his six-game suspension.

If ever the old saying “the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray” applied to a situation this is it. From suspended to injured to missing the 2012 season and now still facing a six-game suspension when he returns to action in 2013. What does this mean for Carrasco?

The question as to whether he can appeal his suspension again after already dropping one appeal hasn’t been answered. If the answer to that question is no, then he is in a tough spot because whenever the Indians decide to finally activate him they will be short handed for 6 days prior to being able to use him. For this reason he will not be available to be a spot starter if need arises. Finally, if he is unable to appeal the suspension the question has to be asked as to why the Indians didn’t activate him after he completed his rehab assignment in September of 2012?