Indians SP Carlos Carrasco Diagnosed with Leukemia

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 6, 2019

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MAY 30: Starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco #59 of the Cleveland Indians delivers the ball against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on May 30, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco said Friday that he's been diagnosed with leukemia, a cancer impacting blood and bone marrow, but noted the condition is "under control."

Carrasco, who last pitched May 30 and was placed on the 10-day injured list June 5 with what the team called a "blood condition," provided the update on his status to Frank Camilo of CDN 37 in the Dominican Republic (via Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports).

He spoke about the situation in a video posted on the Indians' Twitter page later Saturday:

Cleveland Indians @Indians

"This is going to make me stronger than I've ever been." - Carlos Carrasco Stay #CookieStrong. We ❤️ you! https://t.co/KokfX0wayr

The 32-year-old Venezuela native is traditionally one of the American League's best starters. He owns a career 3.78 ERA and 1.19 WHIP with 1,206 strikeouts in 1159.1 career innings since making his MLB debut with Cleveland in 2009.

Carrasco wasn't pitching up to his usual standards in the early going this year with a 4.98 ERA through 12 starts before being placed on the IL after "feeling lethargic," per the club.

"He had been feeling sluggish, and because he's had some heart issues in the past, he had some blood tests that led to this conclusion," Indians manager Terry Francona told reporters in June, referring to a 2014 surgery the pitcher had for an irregular heartbeat.

Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported Cleveland hopes Carrasco will still be able to make a full recovery and pitch again during the 2019 season.

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The Indians' pitching depth has been tested this year with Corey Kluber and Danny Salazar also landing on the IL. But Shane Bieber and Mike Clevinger have stepped up alongside Trevor Bauer to at least give the club a strong top of the rotation.

Cleveland owns a 48-38 record, which is 6.5 games behind the Minnesota Twins for the best mark in the AL Central. Right now, the team would slot in the second wild-card spot in the AL.

Getting Carrasco back at some point during the season's second half would provide a major boost to Cleveland's playoff hopes, but there's no official timetable for his return.


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