Indians taking conservative approach with Carrasco

Right-hander set to make first spring start Saturday vs. Brewers

Indians taking conservative approach with Carrasco

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Carlos Carrasco's throwing schedule has been slightly different than the rest of the Indians' pitchers over the course of the past few weeks. Manager Terry Francona acknowledged Thursday that Cleveland has been taking a conservative approach to the right-hander's workload.

"A little bit," Francona said. "He's thrown some more bullpens than maybe to hitters. [Pitching coach Mickey Callaway] does a really good job of gauging where everybody is coming into camp."

Carrasco is scheduled to throw off the mound in a bullpen session on Friday in preparation of his first Cactus League start on Sunday against the Brewers in Maryvale, Ariz. Carrasco, who logged a career-high 183 2/3 innings in a breakout showing last season, is slated to work two innings in his first start of the spring.

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"Carrasco is throwing the ball so well, even though it's just been on sides," Francona said. "We know he's in for the long haul this year, so we're not really worried about who throws game one of Spring Training. He's throwing the ball really well. He's done a phenomenal job of just about everything. When he throws his bullpen, it's fun to watch."

Other items of note from Thursday:

• Right-hander Cody Anderson logged two shutout innings in his Cactus League debut on Wednesday, retiring all six batters he faced. Anderson focused on fastball command, but tested out a handful of breaking pitches in the outing. The starter is competing for the lone vacancy at the back end of the rotation.

"It felt good," Anderson said. "I have to just be ready from Game 1, pitch one and every pitch after that. Everything counts. It's never taking a pitch off or a day off. I've got to come in here and give it everything I've got every day."

Indians staff ready to go

• After Joba Chamberlain's relief outing on Wednesday, Francona noted that the righty topped out at 96 mph. The manager keeps an eye on velocities throughout the spring, but he said he is more concerned with his pitchers not being overly aggressive in an effort to light up the radar gun.

"What I really care about is the effort," Francona said. "Most of these guys, if you tell them, 'Hey, go throw 95,' they probably almost all could. I'm not sure that's the best way for them to pitch. So, if you see a guy out there and he's staying in his delivery, he's not overdoing it, he's not reaching back for more, and he's finding a nice velocity, that's a good sign."

• Throughout Spring Training, Francona will try to find a spots to use relievers in a variety of situations. Said the manager: "Whether it's back-to-back days, maybe going an inning-plus for some of them, coming in in the middle of an inning, warming up and maybe not getting in a game, you try to pretty much accomplish everything."

• Outfielder Michael Choice said his recent hamstring issue is "no big deal" and he hopes to be back to a full range of activities soon. Righty Craig Stammen (right forearm) has been throwing off the mound, but there is no firm date yet for advancing to live batting practice.

• The Indians and Reds are scheduled to play a five-inning "B" game at Noon ET on Monday. Adam Plutko, Jarrett Grube and Felipe Paulino are penciled in to pitch for Cleveland.

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