BOSTON -- Carlos Carrasco might have a place in the Indians rotation again at some point this season. First, Cleveland has to find a way to navigate around the eight-game suspension that is hanging over the right-hander's head.
Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said the team has discussed a variety of possible scenarios.
"There are ways," Antonetti said. "I think right now he's filed an appeal, so they're working through the appeal process. Once they have a sense of what the final suspension will be -- maybe it's eight, maybe it's less -- we'll have to work around it when he comes back at the Major League level."
Carrasco, who is currently with Triple-A Columbus, was hit with an eight-game ban after it was determined by Major League Baseball that he intentionally hit Yankees third baseman Kevin Youkilis with a pitch in the fourth inning of an outing on April 9. Carrasco had allowed a home run in the previous at-bat against Robinson Cano.
It was the second such instance for Carrasco. On July 29, 2011, he threw in the area of Billy Butler's head in a start against Kansas City -- one batter after allowing a home run. Carrasco was punished with a six-game suspension after that incident, though it was reduced to five games. The righty served that suspension at the start of this season, because he missed all of last year while recovering from an elbow injury.
The easiest way around the current suspension would be to wait to promote Carrasco until rosters expand to 40 players on Sept. 1. Another option would be to have the pitcher join the rotation shortly before the All-Star break in July. Carrasco could technically make a start (while still appealing), and then drop the appeal before sitting out four games on either side of the break.
Through eight games with Triple-A Columbus, Carrasco has gone 2-0 with a 1.36 ERA over 39 2/3 innings, during which he has piled up 41 strikeouts against nine walks. Cleveland has closely monitored his innings -- limiting him to no more than six innings in any outing to this point -- considering he missed the entirety of last season.
"He's done everything we could've possibly asked of him in Triple-A," Antonetti said. "He's gone out and he's really dominated almost every start out there and he's done it efficiently, where he's been able to get hitters out and he's accumulated a lot of strikeouts and hasn't used a lot of pitches doing it. That's a challenging thing to do.
"He's using all his pitches. He's been very aggressive in attacking the strike zone. We've all seen it. He has above-average Major League stuff. When he puts it all together, he has a chance to really help our team."