Carrasco to bullpen not a permanent move

Carrasco to bullpen not a permanent move

OAKLAND -- The Indians have not given up on right-hander Carlos Carrasco as a starter, but the club plans on moving him to the bullpen for the time being.

Prior to Friday's game against the A's, manager Terry Francona indicated that Carrasco would assume a long-relief role for now. With a handful of off-days coming in the next few weeks, the Indians have some built-in rest for their five-man rotation.

Francona said the move is not a sign that the Indians believe Carrasco is best suited for a bullpen job.

"Until he proves that he can't start, we wouldn't bail on him as a starter," Francona said. "You don't find those arms that often. Down the road, maybe that is the case [that he would be a full-time reliever], but he'd sure have to prove that he couldn't start first."

Carrasco started in place of left-hander Scott Kazmir -- recently impacted by arm fatigue -- on Wednesday and gave up four runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings against the Twins. It marked the fifth time in seven starts this season that Carrasco exited before logging five frames. Overall this season, the righty is 0-4 with a 7.82 ERA in eight appearances.

Carrasco's overall line is helped by the five shutout innings of relief that he turned in against the Angels on Aug. 9.

"We'll put him in the bullpen," Francona said. "For the time being, that's kind of where we are. I think we like the idea of always trying to have the eight-man bullpen, because we seem to be situated better to win that way. But, again, things happen. Things can change, as we've seen a lot."

Following Justin Masterson on Friday, right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez and Kazmir are slated to start against the A's on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. The probable starters for the next series in Anaheim is scheduled to feature Danny Salazar (Monday), Zach McAllister (Tuesday) and Masterson (Wednesday).

Francona said the Indians are not considering a six-man rotation right now.

"It would probably be hard to right now," Francona said. "When you get into September, that's a different story. We do have some days off coming up, also, that will build in that extra day for guys."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.