Carrasco cleared to resume throwing

Starter's elbow tenderness subsides; Brantley feeling good after Minors game

Carrasco cleared to resume throwing

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Carlos Carrasco has been cleared to resume throwing, providing hope that his recent bout with right elbow tenderness was nothing more than a scare. The Indians have mapped out a pitching schedule that will have the starter back on the mound soon.

Tribe pitching coach Mickey Callaway noted that Carrasco would play light catch on Thursday morning, followed by a long-toss workout on Friday and a bullpen session Saturday. Barring any setbacks, the righty is tentatively on target to pitch in either a simulated game or Minor League contest on Monday.

"He's in a good spot," Callaway said.

Spring Training info

During his start against the White Sox this past Monday, Carrasco threw mostly fastballs and allowed eight runs on eight hits, including three home runs, with one hit batsman in 1 2/3 innings. This spring, Cleveland's projected No. 2 starter has given up 14 runs on 17 hits with six strikeouts and one walk in eight innings across his four starts.

After his outing against Chicago, Carrasco downplayed his pitching line, noting that he was focusing on fastball command no matter the results. On Thursday, Callaway acknowledged that Carrasco was feeling some mild discomfort while throwing his offspeed pitches in that game. That led to Tuesday's MRI exam, which revealed some swelling around the elbow, but no structural damage.

"There's no telling what caused it," Callaway said. "The good thing is the MRI came out looking great. [It hurt] just on his offspeed pitches -- when he was getting extension. So, that's why he was throwing fastballs. He said it felt totally fine on his fastballs and his velo kind of showed that."

If everything goes well over the course of the next week, Carrasco would make his Cactus League return on March 24 against the Cubs, according to Callaway. The pitching coach added that Carrasco's original schedule had him down to start on that day, too.

Callaway said Cleveland is also considering the fact that the team does not technically need a fifth starter until April 15, given the club's off-days on April 6 and 10. If the Indians want to be conservative with Carrasco for the remainder of the spring, they could slot him as the fifth arm to buy him more time.

"There's some leeway there," Callaway said. "We can actually get him another start, if we needed to, somewhere, and then pitch him at the back of the rotation. Now, if he comes out of this and he's pitching well, there's probably no need for that. But that's always an option. It's good. It's good that we have that day off where we can do that."

Brantley bounces back fine

Indians bench coach Brad Mills -- who met with reporters on Thursday due to manager Terry Francona leaving for the team's two exhibition games in San Antonio, Texas -- said that left fielder Michael Brantley was feeling good after playing five innings in a Minor League game on Wednesday.

"He feels good," said Mills, who asked Brantley early in the morning how he was doing. "He sent back two thumbs. That's all I needed to see."

Brantley is slated to go through a regular workout on Thursday, but due to there being no Minor League games scheduled for Friday, his next game action is tentatively planned for Saturday morning.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.