Monday, February 24, 2020 Elyria 49°


Indians notes: Carlos Carrasco throws bullpen session, wants to face hitters Friday


CLEVELAND -- Right-hander Carlos Carrasco threw a bullpen session, practiced fielding from the mound and ran sprints prior to Tuesday’s game.

He wants to take the next step Friday -- facing hitters -- but the Indians medical staff has yet to approve the plan.

“The idea that he wants to I think is terrific, but there’s gotta be some sign off from the medical people,” manager Terry Francona said of Carrasco, who has been sidelined since June 2 with chronic myeloid leukemia. “But the fact that he feels he’s ready to do that is tremendous.”

The Indians have avoided placing a timeline on Carrasco’s return, but they believe whether or not he pitches again for them this season allowing him to throw can be therapeutic.

“Even if this just helps him feel better, that’s OK with us,” Francona said. “We’d love for him to come back and pitch, but if this is what helps him get through the day, if that’s what it leads to, we’re OK with that, too.”

-- Right-hander Corey Kluber (right forearm fracture) made his second rehab start, allowing a run on two hits (homer) and striking out six over four innings (60 pitches) for Double-A Akron.

-- Relievers Dan Otero (right shoulder) and Tyler Olson (shingles) were also scheduled to appear for the RubberDucks.

It’s been a long road to recovery for Otero, who has appeared in only 20 games and not since May 30. He is expected to pitch back-to-back outings this weekend.

“He’s feeling much better,” Francona said of the veteran right-hander. “You can even see it when he talks to you. He feels like he’s turning a corner.”

-- Right-hander Danny Salazar (right groin strain) is throwing in Tampa, Fla., and according to Francona, will progress to bullpen sessions soon.

Salazar started against Houston on Aug. 1 -- his first appearance for Cleveland since 2017 -- and returned to the injured list the next day.

Welcome back

Needless to say, it’s been a happy return to Cleveland for Carlos Santana and the Indians. After batting .229 with 26 home runs and 86 RBIs in his lone season in Philadelphia last year, Santana was hitting .286 with 26 homers and 71 RBIs in 116 games for the Indians through Monday.

“He’s using the whole field a lot more than he used to, which has helped his batting average and fortunately with that he’s kept his power,” Francona said of Santana, who entered Tuesday with game-winning homers over the last two days. “By the time he left here he had grown into kinda being one of our guys that we really loved having around. That part of it, it’s even better because it’s like he came home again. The maturity I think had come before he left.”

Follow me

In addition to enjoying a breakout season -- career-high 19 homers and 46 RBIs through Monday -- catcher Roberto Perez has followed the path of his best friend, shortstop Francisco Lindor, becoming a young leader in his first year as the primary starter.

I think the key word is organically because that’s how leaders emerge,” Francona said. “You don’t self proclaim yourself as a leader. Those are the guys that aren’t the leaders. It’s the guys that grow by playing the game right, by playing beat up like ’Berto is -- showing up every day, doing it right, speaking up at the right time, not the wrong time.”

Long, strange trip

Beginning Thursday, the Indians will spend eight straight days in New York, playing a four-game series against the Yankees before an off-day, followed by a three-game series against the Mets.

“I’ve never been in New York for a week,” Francona said. “Pretty much guarantee that a lot of guys come home with no money. At least we get to stay in the same hotel, which is really good. We get to set up shop and stay put for seven days. Just got to make sure everybody goes to the right ballpark, especially the young guys. Make sure they know what (subway) train they’re getting on or whatever.”

Minor detail

Cleveland’s first-round draft pick (24th overall) this year, right-hander Daniel Espino, was promoted to short-season Class A Mahoning Valley after posting a 1.98 ERA over six starts at the Arizona Rookie League, where he struck out 16 over 13 2/3 innings.

Espino was born and raised in Panama City, Panama, moving to the United States as a sophomore and attending Georgia Premier Academy.  

Roundin’ third

Brad Hand (6-3, 2.74 ERA) entered Tuesday with a 4.91 ERA and three blown saves over his last 11 appearances, allowing 14 hits (three homers) and five walks over 11 innings. He was 29-of-33 in save conversions through Monday, opening the season with 22 saves in as many opportunities. ... Wednesday, 1:10, STO; WTAM 1100-AM. Bieber (12-4, 3.28) vs. TBD. 

Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @CAwesomeheimer.

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