Indians Plan to Activate Carlos Carrasco 3 Months After Leukemia Diagnosis

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 28, 2019

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 20:  Carlos Carrasco #59 of the Cleveland Indians pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at Progressive Field on May 20, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
Ron Schwane/Getty Images

The Cleveland Indians are expecting to receive a boost Sunday when pitcher Carlos Carrasco makes his return after being diagnosed with leukemia in May.

Indians manager Terry Francona told MLB Network Radio that Carrasco will be activated Sept. 1 "if all goes well" during his bullpen session Thursday. 

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After a long and scary journey, Carlos Carrasco will be activated on Sunday. 🎙️Terry Francona🎙️ @Indians | #Indians | #RallyTogether https://t.co/IKZRQSOgBn

Francona added the Indians intend to use Carrasco out of the bullpen for the rest of this season.

Carrasco announced in July he had been diagnosed with leukemia after doctors noted abnormal blood test results when he underwent a physical during spring training. 

The Indians placed Carrasco on the injured list for a non-baseball medical condition on June 5. The 32-year-old last pitched in the big leagues on May 30 against the Chicago White Sox

During the All-Star Game at Progressive Field, Carrasco stood on the field with Francona and four of his Indians teammates between innings as part of the Stand Up to Cancer organization.

Carrasco took his first steps toward returning on Aug. 19 in a rehab appearance at Double-A Akron. He's pitched in three minor league games, allowing one run on two hits with six strikeouts in 3.2 innings. 

The Indians are currently locked in a three-way battle with the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays, who enter Wednesday all separated by one game, for an American League wild-card spot. They are also 3.5 games behind the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central. 

In 12 starts this season, Carrasco has a 4.98 ERA with 79 strikeouts over 65 innings.