Carrasco getting closer to rehab assignment

Carrasco getting closer to rehab assignment

BOSTON -- Carlos Carrasco is one step closer to returning to the Indians' rotation.

Prior to Friday's game against the Red Sox, Cleveland manager Terry Francona and pitching coach Mickey Callaway both indicated that everything went smooth in Carrasco's simulated game one day earlier. The right-hander logged two innings against hitters from Class A Lake County and did some fielding drills to test his recovering left hamstring.

"It went really good," Callaway said.

Callaway noted that Carrasco -- placed on the 15-day disabled list on April 25 due to the strained hamstring -- threw 38 pitches in the simulated game on Thursday. The pitching coach estimated that the right-hander went through his fielding workout at an 80 percent effort level. That consisted of handing comebackers, bunts, jogging to first and mixing in some side-to-side and stop-and-go tests.

The plan now is for Carrasco to take the next three days off from mound workouts before going through a three-inning (55 pitches) simulated game on Monday. If all goes well in that outing, and in the subsequent days, the pitcher might then be cleared to begin a Minor League rehab assignment.

"That's the plan, as of now," Callaway said. "Obviously, we'll see how he feels. He's got to be able to cover first. ... That's going to be the last thing he's able to do full speed."

In four starts this season, Carrasco went 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in 22 innings, in which he struck out 20 and walked five. The pitcher injured his left hamstring while covering first base in the third inning of the Indians' 6-3 win over the Tigers on April 24 in Detroit. Carrasco's initial timetable for return was estimated to be four-to-six weeks.

Francona has been encouraged by Carrasco's diligence with his rehab behind the scenes.

"He's done a good job," Francona said. "You can't make something heal, but ... he's doing everything he can. It sure seems like he's doing well. And his arm, if you see him throw, you can tell it's a hammy and not an arm. He's firing it. So, that's good."

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. 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.