DETROIT -- Indians manager Terry Francona often jokes that he is happy to have people smarter than him running things in the front office. One instance has been the recent handling of the suspension starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco received in April from Major League Baseball.
General manager Chris Antonetti found a way to navigate around it.
"Chris and his guys did a really good job on this one," Francona said.
Carrasco's eight-game suspension was reduced to seven games after the right-hander dropped his appeal, following a start against the Tigers on Saturday. Carrasco was called up from Triple-A Columbus prior to the outing to replace injured starter Zach McAllister, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right middle finger. Carrasco was allowed to pitch during the appeal process.
On Sunday, the Indians announced, as expected, that Carrasco had dropped the appeal and would immediately begin serving his seven-game punishment. The suspension stemmed from an incident on April 9, when Carrasco hit Kevin Youkilis with a pitch one batter after giving up a home run to Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano. Carrasco was sent to Triple-A after that appearance.
With an off-day coming for the Tribe on Thursday, Carrasco's suspension does not disrupt the rotation. Cleveland can keep the rest of its arms on regular rest and avoid needing to promote a spot starter to take Carrasco's spot. With the suspension reduced to seven games, the pitcher can return on either June 17 or 18 against the Royals.
"We can bring him back, and with this off-day we can keep everybody in order," Francona said. "And then we can slot him in where we think it best fits. We'd actually lined it up without the one day [reduction]. So we need to look at that again and see where it helps us the most."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. Mark Emery is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.