ARLINGTON -- As the Indians begin looking toward next season, the ballclub is happy to have Carlos Carrasco back in the plans. The sidelined pitcher has made great strides in his comeback from a serious elbow injury this year. "We'll still have to be careful with him next year and still manage things appropriately," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said on Wednesday. "But it would've been great to have him this year and we're certainly looking forward to having him back next year." Carrasco, who has spent the entire season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, is currently pitching for Double-A Akron in the Eastern League playoffs. The right-hander has logged two shutout innings with three strikeouts, hitting 94-97 mph consistently.
It is a small sample size, but the Indians are nonetheless excited. "It's very encouraging," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "We can't wait to see him in Spring Training. The velocity, that's an indication of not having any hesitation throwing the ball. No fear. That's good." Carrasco, 25, went 8-9 with a 4.62 ERA in 21 starts during an up-and-down season with the Tribe a year ago. He will likely be thrown into the rotation mix during the spring, but an innings limit will likely be in play next season. Antonetti has been pleased with Carrasco's progress. "It's only been a couple of appearances so far," Antonetti said, "but Carlos has been very impressive. His fastball velocity has been exceptional. His command has been good. His secondary stuff has been sharp. It's very early in the process, but the early returns are favorable."