AVONDALE, Ariz. — The Cleveland Indians could have another significant pitching problem.
Right-hander Carlos Carrasco felt discomfort in his right leg during a spring training workout Wednesday and is undergoing imaging tests to find out the severity of the injury and how long he’ll be sidelined.
Carrasco, who made an inspiring comeback last season after being diagnosed with leukemia, got an MRI on Thursday. The Indians kept him from working out and the team plans to provide an update on his status Friday.
“He was squatting and felt something in his upper leg area,” manager Terry Francona said. “I know it’s a little vague but that’s what we know. Instead of telling you something we don’t know, we’ll wait for more information and pass it on.”
If Carrasco is out for any period, it will put further strain on Cleveland’s pitching depth. Right-hander Mike Clevinger recently underwent knee surgery and will be out until mid-April. On top of that, the team is counting on other pitchers to pick up the slack after two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber was traded this winter.
“You found out about the pitching depth when you need it,” Francona said. “If you don’t have it, it hurts. How many times have you heard me say when you think you have enough pitching, get some more? If you’re in a situation where you have to aggravate some pitchers because you have too many good ones. That’s not the worse problem.”
The Indians do have other quality arms in All-Star MVP Shane Bieber, Zach Plesac, Aaron Civale and Adam Plutko to fill out the rotation.
The 32-year-old Carrasco revealed last June that he had been diagnosed with leukemia. He received treatments and battled back, making his return as a reliever on Sept. 1. Carrasco, who won 35 games combined in 2017 and 2018, is hoping to start again in 2020.
Carrasco recently said his health was good and he was excited about the upcoming season.
After he returned last season, Carrasco made 11 relief appearances in September, posting a 6.60 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 15 innings.
Carrasco’s comeback moved his players and fans across baseball. He received an emotional salute at the All-Star Game in Cleveland. Following the season he received the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award, given annually to a player who demonstrates a deep commitment to community.