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Terry Francona realigns starting rotation to help Carlos Carrasco

A few days of rest may be enough for Carlos Carrasco (left pectoral tightness) to avoid a trip to the 10-day disabled list as manager Terry Francona mapped out his starting pitcher plans for the next week.

CLEVELAND – It was not a fractured finger on a hard-hit line drive up the middle, but Indians fans found themselves holding their breath and crossing their fingers once again in hopes that Carlos Carrasco was okay after another early departure.

On this occasion, they took a collective exhale of relief.

Manager Terry Francona announced that Carrasco will be pushed back two days and start next Tuesday rather than Sunday. Listed below is the skipper’s plan…

Tuesday, May 16: RHP Danny Salazar (2-3, 5.20) vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Wednesday, May 17: RHP Josh Tomlin (2-4, 5.87) vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Thursday, May 18: Off day

Friday, May 19: RHP Trevor Bauer (3-4, 6.92) at Houston Astros

Saturday, May 20: RHP Mike Clevinger (1-1, 2.70) at Houston Astros

Sunday, May 21: RHP Danny Salazar (2-3, 5.20) at Houston Astros

Monday, May 22: RHP Josh Tomlin (2-4, 5.87) at Cincinnati Reds

Tuesday, May 23: RHP Carlos Carrasco (4-2, 2.60) at Cincinnati Reds

This realignment allows Carrasco to have seven days of rest to heal the left pectoral tightness he experienced in the third inning on Monday. The right-hander claimed he was having soreness before he felt the pain on a particular pitch in the fourth frame.

“It was one pitch,” said Carrasco after Monday’s contest. “Every time when I threw one pitch, I would feel it a little more. I think Tito made the right decision to take me out before [it got] worse.”

Carrasco’s removal from the game appears to be a precautionary measure as Francona seems optimistic his top hurler can return sooner rather than later.

“The idea is to give him two days of just letting him be in the training room,” Francona said on Tuesday. “He’ll start his five-day cycle up to pitching which puts him the second day in Cincinnati. So we’re backing him up two days.”

With Corey Kluber on the shelf, the club can ill-afford another hit to a rotation that has rarely been at full health over the last eight months.

“I think Carlos feels like he’ll be more than ready,” said Francona. “The trainers are fine with that. This day off Thursday helps.”

John Alfes has covered the Indians for IBI since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.

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