CLEVELAND -- Manager Terry Francona sees plenty of fire and potential when he watches right-hander Carlos Carrasco pitch. What Francona is waiting for is the moment when the light bulb goes off and Carrasco finally performs up to expectations.
"You see the light come on with guys," Francona said. "You never know when it does, but when it does, his ceiling is so high."
On Sunday, one day after his tough start against Detroit, Carrasco was designated for assignment. It was a paperwork transaction aimed at securing optional waivers in order to option him back to Triple-A Columbus.
Carrasco might return to the big leagues at some point this season, but the team is planning on filling his spot in the rotation for Thursday's home game against the Blue Jays. Francona is not ready to reveal the replacement but noted that the Indians would likely announce that decision on Tuesday.
What does Francona want Carrasco to work on in the Minor Leagues?
"Repeat the good stuff," he said. "As with a lot of young pitchers, when innings start to build, limiting damage, slowing the game down, however you want to say it. And that will happen. He's shown glimpses of it, and ... I think [he has] more fire in there than people give him credit for."
Through six starts, Carrasco is 0-4 with a 9.10 ERA, allowing 47 hits in 28 2/3 innings. Carrasco, who missed all of last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, has the highest single-season ERA in team history among starters with at least six starts.
"I just think the further he gets away from this surgery," Francona said, "and the more he pitches, we are going to at some point have a really good pitcher. It's just been a little inconsistent up to this point."