BALTIMORE -- When it comes to intricate roster moves, manager Terry Francona leaves the details up to general manager Chris Antonetti and assistant GM Mike Chernoff. The pair of front-office minds delivered another complicated decision on Monday.
The Indians optioned right-hander Carlos Carrasco to Triple-A Columbus and promoted rookie lefty T.J. House to provide an extra arm for the bullpen. Barring an unexpected setback, Carrasco can potentially rejoin the rotation on Friday while serving as the 26th man for the doubleheader against the White Sox.
"That was Chris and Cherny at their very best," Francona said with a laugh. "They lost me early in the process."
Francona would not go as far as officially naming Carrasco as a probable starter for one of Friday's games in Chicago, but he did acknowledge the possibility. Typically, a player optioned to the Minors is required to stay at least 10 days before being eligible for a promotion back to the Majors. That rule does not apply, however, to the 26th-man rule, as stipulated in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Triple-A right-hander Trevor Bauer, who pitched on short rest on Sunday for Columbus, is also lined up for a possible start in the doubleheader. Similar to his stance with Carrasco, Francona was not ready to declare Bauer one of the planned starters for Friday.
"We're not going to announce anything like that," he said. "But he is aligned for that start."
Carrasco, 26, went 0-3 with a 7.78 ERA through four starts this season. In Sunday's 5-3 loss at home to Minnesota, he allowed three runs on six hits and ended with four walks and three strikeouts in a 104-pitch performance. If he rejoins the Indians on Friday, he could then be optioned back to Triple-A before again returning to Cleveland for a start on either July 3 or 4 in Kansas City.
"He could actually make every single [scheduled] start," Francona said.
The 23-year-old House -- in camp with the Indians during Spring Training -- has gone 3-8 with a 4.83 ERA in 15 starts between Double-A Akron and Triple-A this season. Over 87 2/3 innings, he has 75 strikeouts against 33 walks, with a 1.44 WHIP. He has been better of late, posting a 3.00 ERA with 11 strikeouts and three walks in his past two starts (12 innings) for Columbus.
"Our bullpen is not worn out, but we don't want it to get there either," Francona said. "[House] is a kid that's a big prospect. This is not his time to stay, and he knows that. Whatever time he gets up here, he'll learn, he'll watch, and it'll help for when he comes back."
Cleveland's left-handed relievers have combined for a 7.26 ERA this season, so the Indians might be giving House a chance to help that facet of the roster.
"They said they will and are going to use me," House said. "I don't know exactly when. This is my first time really working out of the bullpen, but I'm excited nonetheless."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.