Carrasco Diagnosed with Moderate Left Hamstring Strain; Brantley Back

If you heard what sounded like a massive gush of wind shortly after 4 PM on Monday afternoon, it was likely the entire Cleveland Indians’ collection of baseball fans exhaling a collective sigh of relief after the injury update on starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco.

It could have been much, much worse.

The Indians announced Monday afternoon that the starter was, as expected, placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain, while starting left fielder Michael Brantley was activated from the list.

Carrasco underwent an evaluation on Monday at the Cleveland Clinic, where his leg injury was diagnosed as a moderate strain of the left hamstring. The hopes and expectations are that he will be able to return to game action in four to six weeks.

Carrasco was hurt during Sunday afternoon’s game in Detroit while covering first base on a grounder to Carlos Santana. He was unable to leave the field nor the dugout without assistance and was replaced in the ball game by Trevor Bauer. The Indians won the contest, 6-3, their third straight victory over the Tigers in Detroit to complete the sweep.

It is the fifth time in Carrasco’s career that he has been placed on the disabled list at the Major League level. He had started the 2016 season 2-0 through his first four starts with a 2.45 ERA and 0.96 WHIP.

The Indians had not yet revealed at the time of this post a game plan for how they would approach his rotation spot in the coming weeks. It would appear that they have plenty of time to determine a course of action, as with off days on Thursday and this coming Monday, the Indians would not necessarily need a replacement in the rotation until May 7th’s game in Cleveland against Kansas City. Bauer would be expected to be a leading candidate for an opportunity to fill in for Carrasco, but the team could also consider other possibilities currently at Triple-A Columbus.

Brantley returns from the 15-day disabled list after spending seven games on the farm with Columbus and Double-A Akron over the last two weeks while rehabbing his right shoulder. He underwent surgery in November for a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder, an injury sustained in September of last season while diving for a catch in Minnesota.

Brantley is expected to make his Major League season debut sometime this week back at the scene of the crime, Target Field. The left-handed hitter is not in the starting lineup for Monday night’s 8:10 PM ET start against Twins’ lefty, Tommy Milone.

Photo: AP Photo/Paul Sancya

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