Carrasco, Brantley sent home as flu bug torments Indians

'We've got 47 guys to go,' jokes Francona

Carrasco, Brantley sent home as flu bug torments Indians

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians have yet to hang hazmat suits in their players' lockers, but the club continues to fight a stomach bug that is making its way up and down the roster.

On Sunday, All-Star left fielder Michael Brantley and starter Carlos Carrasco were sent home due to illness, while Minor League pitcher Cody Anderson also complained of flu-like symptoms. Lonnie Chisenhall, Corey Kluber, Brandon Moss and Zach Walters are among other players who have been sidelined by the bug at various points this spring.

"I figure we've got 47 guys to go," Indians manager Terry Francona joked. "We'll get through it at some point."

Francona said the only fortunate aspect of the virus is that it typically only keeps a player out for a day or two. Moss, for example, returned to the lineup on Sunday after missing the past two days due to illness. Carrasco missed a start on Saturday, but is scheduled to throw in a bullpen session on Monday with the hope of starting again for Cleveland on Thursday.

"It'd be nice if he's able to throw his side on target and then he'll probably just stay in line," Francona said. "He's the one guy who threw like 12 bullpens before he came here. Usually, when guys get to the four-inning mark, we repeat it. Maybe we'll just let him go past it. We'll see how he's doing."

Here are more notes and quotes from Sunday morning:

T.J. House, Danny Salazar, Zach McAllister and Josh Tomlin represent the top four candidates for the two vacancies in Cleveland's rotation. Francona said it doesn't "make any sese to handicap" the competition right now, given that there are still roughly three weeks to go in camp.

"Things change," Francona said. "If we try to make a decision on March 15 for April 4, you don't have all your information yet, so it's not going to be a good decision. I think the best thing we can do is continue to stretch guys out as long as possible. That keeps the pool bigger and I think it's good for all those guys."

Indians on pitching depth

• Francona said one of his hopes for this spring was to see a more relaxed Jesus Aguilar, who hit just .121 in 19 games in his first taste of the Majors last year. The 24-year-old first baseman was batting .471 (8-for-17) in Cactus League play, entering Sunday.

"One of our goals for this spring was to be able to see him play like he can play," Francona said. "The hope is that, as you see him start to get hits, that'll turn into some production. ... You're starting to see it. He certainly looks more comfortable and more aggressive at the plate."

Top Prospects: Aguilar, CLE

• The Indians have not announced the next step for veteran pitcher Gavin Floyd, who re-fractured his right elbow this spring.

"Out of respect to him, I'd like him to be able to say what he wants to do, and I know he's nearing a decision," Francona said.

• Indians third base prospect Giovanny Urshela has been battling back tightness for the past few days and was still sore on Sunday. Francona said "it's not responding as well as everybody had hoped," so Cleveland held Urshela out of all baseball activities during Sunday morning's workout.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.