On Aug. 1, 2009 the Cleveland Indians traded away their second Cy Young Award winner in as many seasons. In return, the Indians seemed to have missed out, acquiring Jason Knapp, Jason Donald, Lou Marson and Carlos Carrasco.
At the time, Knapp seemed to be the centerpiece of the transaction while the others were throw ins. Sure they were young and solid players, but none seemed to be elite prospects like Kyle Drabek or Domonic Brown.
Nonetheless the trade was executed and the Indians could not be anything other than impressed with the strides made by one of their "Throw Ins."
When Carrasco was called up in September of 2009, just weeks after arriving into the Indians farm system, he didn't exactly impress Cleveland. In five starts, he recorded zero wins compared to four losses with an ERA of 8.87.
With a WHIP above 2.00, an opponent batting average at exactly .400, as well as walking as many as he struck out (11), one could say it was a disappointing start to a career.
The following season in 2010 things did seem to improve, though. Carrasco went an even 2-2 with an ERA of 3.83 in seven starts for the Tribe. His strikeout-to-walk ratio improved as well (38 Ks, 14 BOBs).
Still, like the rest of the Chief's Wahoos, it seemed like much work was needed before Carrasco would become a legitimate starter in the big leagues.
Carrasco is having a solid season at 8-4 with a 3.54 ERA, but has pitched amazing of late. In the month of June, Carrasco is 4-2 with an ERA of 1.90. The 24-year-old has really turned in on since returning from his injury.
An intriguing part to the whole Cleveland's ace hunt is the competition. Justin Masterson (5-6, 2.98 ERA) and Josh Tomlin (9-4, 3.86 ERA) are also having tremendous seasons and are both young at 25 and 26 years of age.
With these young studs holding down the fort until Alex White returns and a top prospect like Drew Pomeranz just a few years from the big leagues, the Indians can only expect great things. Their young nucleus of players is almost unheard when you combine their early success.
In the end all that matters is that the Tribe is contending even though they currently do not have a true ace. Yet, when you have multiple candidates each making their bids for the role, and impressive bids at that, a team cannot complain.
Here is to the rest of the Cleveland Indians 2011 season and to Asdrubal Cabrera, and potential others, making the All-Star team.