Cleveland Indians: Carlos Carrasco officially headed to the DL

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

In what has been a discouraging weekend series against Minnesota, the Cleveland Indians now find themselves without Carlos Carrasco for the time being.

The Minnesota Twins are rapidly approaching the point at which I will only refer to them in profanity-laden fits of rage. Not only do they appear to have the Cleveland Indians’ number through the first half of 2018, but a line drive off the bat of Joe Mauer has now landed Carlos Carrasco on the 10-day disabled list with a right elbow contusion.

In a corresponding move, Shane Bieber has been brought back up to the big league club, and will start today’s game against the Twins.

Needless to say, the loss of any starting pitcher is disconcerting at best for the Tribe. The starting rotation has been the strength of the team through the first half of the season, and the Indians will now have to patch together the fourth and fifth spots for the foreseeable future.

There is reason to be optimistic, though. The designation of “right elbow contusion” does not include words like “fracture” or “tear,” indicating that there may not be any significant structural damage to Carrasco’s throwing arm. We’ll have a better idea on his timetable for return once the full medical results are disclosed, but for now it would appear this is not a long-term injury.

Moreover, the Indians are no strangers to the “next man up” philosophy. Bieber and Adam Plutko should now be given a somewhat extensive look as members of the rotation, and the team will rally behind them. Considering the relatively positive diagnosis on Carrasco’s elbow, this visit to the shelf could wind up being nothing more than a mid-season rest.

As for those Minnesota [expletive] Twins, it sure would be a sight for sore eyes if Bieber can find a way to shut them down on Sunday afternoon and salvage the weekend series. Cleveland is 2-6 against the Twins with a minus-15 run differential.

Next: Recapping the harsh loss to the Twins

The Indians have had their chances to pull away from the AL Central, but have not taken full advantage of the weak division just yet. They must find a way to win Sunday’s game and roll into two winnable home series against the White Sox and Tigers on a good note, with or without Carrasco.