How should the Cleveland Guardians move forward with Carlos Carrasco?

Washington Nationals v Cleveland Guardians
Washington Nationals v Cleveland Guardians / Nick Cammett/GettyImages

It seemed highly unlikely coming into the season that Carlos Carrasco would make the Opening Day roster. Well, an injury to Gavin Williams in Spring Training gave Carrasco the opportunity to start the season with the major league club after originally being signed to a minor league deal. It appeared at this point that once Williams was able to rejoin the rotation, Carrasco's time with the team may come to an end, but a season-ending injury to Shane Bieber early in the year pretty much secured his spot on the roster for a much longer period than anyone could have anticipated. The question now is, how much longer will he remain with the Guardians?

Overall, Carrasco has been serviceable at times but has had a few less-than-stellar outings, which has resulted in his current 5.66 ERA and 1.500 WHIP. These numbers are far from ideal and a big reason why Carrasco has a 2-5 record this season. The biggest contributors to the numbers sitting at their current spot are three starts in particular, which saw him allow 18 runs in 13 innings, the most recent being Sunday's loss to Washington. In fact, all three of these contests were losses, which is not all that surprising. Despite these bad outings, not everything from Carrasco has been bad this season.

When looking at his other starts, Carrasco has allowed 13 runs in 36.1 innings, a rate that is a lot more palatable than those mentioned above. This shows that there is still value in his arm and that the Guardians may be able to use him going forward. With that being said, it may be best for Cleveland to be incredibly selective in the games they decide to use him in. It would be best to deploy him against overall bad lineups, teams he has had success against in the past, and those that are injury-depleted. If that means Carrasco no longer being a permanent member of the starting rotation, so be it, as it would be best for the better arms to face the better lineups the Guardians will face moving forward. It is about putting everyone in the best position to succeed, and having Carrasco as a situational starter seems to be the best foot forward for all parties involved.

Should Carrasco not be able to even put together serviceable outings, that is the time when an uncomfortable conversation that nobody wants to have takes place. But for now, there is a way to utilize him as a member of the Guardians' pitching staff and be a contributor to their success moving forward. At least until Williams makes his season debut and/or a starting pitcher is acquired via trade.