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Carrasco to make big league debut

Carrasco to make big league debut

BALTIMORE -- Rosters officially expand from 25 men to 40 on Tuesday, and one of the handful of new faces being brought to the big leagues by Cleveland will be front and center in the opener of a three-game series at Detroit as right-hander Carlos Carrasco takes the mound against the Tigers at Comerica Park.

Carrasco, 22, will be making his long-awaited Major League debut, an outing that most expected would come with him in a Philadelphia Phillies uniform.

Carrasco was acquired from the Phillies on July 29 in the blockbuster trade of southpaw Cliff Lee and outfielder Ben Francisco in exchange for a quartet of prospects: Carrasco, young fireballer Jason Knapp, infielder Jason Donald and catcher Lou Marson, all of whom automatically rose right to the top of the Indians' prospect crop.

Between Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where Carrasco started the season, and Triple-A Columbus, where he's been pitching since the deal, Carrasco has combined to go 11-10 with a 4.64 ERA. He leads the International League in innings (157) and strikeouts (148) and has gone 5-1 with a 3.19 ERA in six starts since the trade.

"He's improved since he's come over here, I think," said Indians manager Eric Wedge. "He's done a batter job of working through the ballgame and getting a little deeper into the game."

Wedge, who has not yet met his Tuesday starter, is definitely looking forward to seeing Carrasco, about whom he's certainly heard a lot.

"I'm excited to see him, to get him up here and get him started on this part of his journey," Wedge said. "As a young pitcher, I don't want anybody to expect too much, I don't think that's fair to the kid, but I just want him to come up here and get as comfortable as possible, help him relax and have fun."

A three-time All-Star Futures Game selection who started the game for the World Team in 2008 at Yankee Stadium, the Venezuelan-born Carrasco is known for his electric fastball which can touch the mid-90s.

Though he's been somewhat inconsistent, as one might expect from a young pitcher, most believe that Carrasco has the stuff to become a front-of-the-rotation starter.

Carrasco's arrival comes at a good time for Indians fans, who may have given up the ghost of hope with their team basically out of contention. He is a reminder that the future may hold some of the keys to another run at the pennant in the not-so-distant future.

While most of the Cleveland club will enjoy the Monday off-day at home before continuing the nine-game road trip, Carrasco will arrive in Detroit a day early to settle in.

Pitching matchup
CLE: RHP Carlos Carrasco (Major League debut)
The Indians won't have to make a corresponding move to call up Carrasco, since on Tuesday, teams can expand their rosters to 40.

DET: RHP Edwin Jackson (10-6, 2.96 ERA)
Before Jackson gets a matchup with his old employers, the Tampa Bay Rays, he'll have another meeting with a Cleveland offense he has handled well this year, giving him a chance at a late-season rebound heading into September. Though he battled blistering temperatures last Wednesday afternoon at Angel Stadium to hit the high 90s on his fastball, it was his secondary stuff that gave reason for encouragement, particularly a nasty biting slider. He took the loss nonetheless, with four runs allowed over 6 1/3 innings, including a two-run homer by Torii Hunter.

Tidbits
Travis Hafner remained out of the lineup for the second consecutive day with a sore left shoulder and is expected to be checked out in Cleveland on Monday. "We'll know more about it then," said Wedge. "I don't think [Cleveland head trainer] Lonnie [Soloff] is too concerned, but we still want to get it checked out." Hafner had surgery on his right shoulder last fall and missed several weeks earlier this season with soreness in that shoulder, but there does not seem to be a connection. ... The Indians are going to skip left-hander David Huff next time through the rotation, but there is no injury factor here. The team just wants to give some of its young arms a rest. ... Northern Virginia native Wyatt Toregas, who had a local contingent cheering him on in his first big league series close to home, is the first player in Major League history with the first name of Wyatt. There were three big leaguers with the last name Wyatt. ... Matt LaPorta went 0-for-4 to see his 10-game hitting streak snapped Sunday. He had hit safely in every game since joining the Indians on Aug. 19. Andy Marte also had his 10-game hitting streak snapped.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• STO-HD

On radio
• WTAM 1100

Up next
• Wednesday: Indians (Aaron Laffey, 7-3, 3.40) at Tigers (Rick Porcello, 11-8, 4.27), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Indians (Fausto Carmona, 3-9, 6.20) at Tigers (Nate Robertson, 1-1, 6.84), 1:05 p.m. ET
• Friday: Indians (Jeremy Sowers, 5-9, 4.88) vs. Twins (Carl Pavano, 11-10, 5.11), 7:05 p.m. ET

Lisa Winston is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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