Carlos Carrasco of the Cleveland Indians will miss hit next scheduled Cactus League start due to swelling in his right elbow, the team announced on Tuesday. MRI results revealed the elbow is structurally sound, despite having a history of elbow ailments.
According to the Fantasy Doctor’s Dr. Selene Parekh, while the elbow is structurally sound, his strength is the biggest concern. He expects Cleveland to take it slow with Carrasco, as he should miss the next two to four weeks in order to regain confidence in his throwing arm.
The early season MRI on his elbow should serve as a reminder to fantasy owners that Carrasco has been injury prone throughout his career. Elbow issues are always scary to hear when the player has already experienced Tommy John Surgery, as Carrasco had undergone in 2011.
He has been ranked as a top 20 fantasy pitchers by Yahoo Sports, ESPN and others. However, his elbow scare further convinces owners to consider other pitchers close in the draft. Nonetheless, he is only scheduled to miss one start, for now. But as Dr. Parekh says, the injury requires patience to heal, putting Carrasco at risk to miss the first week or so of the season.
Despite all of his health concerns, fantasy owners have seen what he can do when healthy.
He has proven more healthy than not over the course of the last two seasons, notching 361 strikeouts over 329 innings pitched. He even received Cy Young votes in his breakout 2015 season. However, his 2016 season ended abruptly due to shoulder inflammation.
Carrasco is a vital part of the Indians pitching rotation behind Corey Kluber and Danny Salazar. The Indians pitching did a great job of holding down the fort without him around, per the team’s World Series run, but a healthy Carrasco could sure help.
Despite news the news that he has dodged a bullet, by avoiding any structural damage, his health should be closely monitored by fantasy owners as the season begins. If he continues to feel soreness or another injury finds Carrasco, as they have on many occasions, the team will likely choose to have Mike Clevinger take his spot in the rotation.