CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Cleveland Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco was forced to exit Saturday’s matchup against the Detroit Tigers after being struck by a comebacker on the game’s second pitch.
And the news which followed was not what the team was hoping for.
Carrasco was diagnosed with a fracture of the fifth metacarpal in his right hand, the team announced prior to the end of Saturday’s 1-0 win over the Tigers.
The broken bone prematurely ends the talented hurler’s regular season — and probably any chance of pitching in the postseason, too.
The injury took place when Ian Kinsler of the Tigers lined a 95 MPH offering from Carrasco back in the direction of the Tribe’s starting pitcher, and the ball hit Carrasco in the right hand and caromed to the left side of the infield for a single.
Indians manager Terry Francona and the team trainer immediately went out to check on the right-handed pitcher, who was removed from the game after a short evaluation period on the mound.
After being relieved by Jeff Manship, Carrasco was taken to the hospital for X-rays, which later revealed the broken bone in his right hand.
Carrasco already missed a large chunk of time this season after suffering a left hamstring strain against Detroit on April 24. He did not return from the early season injury until June 2.
The 29-year-old hurler has gone 11-8 with a 3.32 ERA in 25 starts for Cleveland in 2016.
The Indians have already had bad luck with health this season, losing Carrasco, outfielder Michael Brantley, catchers Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez, and starting pitcher Danny Salazar to various injuries throughout the campaign.
Brantley, who battled issues with his surgically repaired shoulder all year, only managed to play in 11 games this season and was shut down after right biceps surgery in August.
Gomes was scheduled to return from a separated shoulder on Friday but suffered a non-displaced wrist fracture after being hit by a pitch during his final Minor League rehab game. He is now likely out for the remainder of the season.
Salazar, meanwhile, could potentially return at some point for the postseason — the Indians entered play on Saturday with a seven-game lead in the AL Central — but is expected to miss 3-4 weeks due to a right forearm strain.
The Indians have overcome that adversity to build a comfortable lead in the American League Central Division, but how much more can they withstand?
Carrasco’s injury becomes a potentially huge blow to the Indians’ desires to advance deep into October in 2016.
Cleveland was already forced to insert rookie Mike Clevinger in the rotation after Josh Tomlin struggled in the month of August. However, the Indians had to reinsert Tomlin in the starting five following Salazar’s injury earlier this month.
Beyond the Indians’ ace, Corey Kluber, and right-hander Trevor Bauer, Cleveland’s greatest perceived strength this season has become their biggest question mark heading into a possible playoff run.