Carrasco slated to start Thursday against KC

Indians right-hander expected to be on 80-pitch limit in return from DL

Carrasco slated to start Thursday against KC

CLEVELAND -- Indians manager Terry Francona said on Tuesday that right-hander Carlos Carrasco is scheduled to start Thursday's series opener against the Royals.

"He's passed all his tests," Francona said. "So on Thursday, we will have to make another [roster] move to get Carlos. We will figure out what that next move is and some of that will depend on how we get there."

Carrasco has been on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring injury. He sustained the injury covering a play at first base against Detroit on April 24. Prior to the injury, Carrasco went 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in four starts. He had 20 strikeouts over 22 innings.

Carrasco will likely be limited to around 80 pitches, according to Francona. However, Francona was not ready to commit to the option to "piggyback" Carrasco with another pitcher.

"It sounds good on paper," Francona said. "But say Cookie goes 5 1/3 and we are winning. You bring the second guy in and he runs into a problem. You got other guys out there. So again that's maybe what we have to do if Carlos goes short. Some of that may be determined on how we get there."

Carrasco logged around 60 pitches in a Minor League rehab outing with Double-A Akron on Saturday. He even had a play in which he had to cover first and test his hamstring. Carrasco admits having a defensive play like that helped him.

"I was covering first for a double play in the first inning," Carrasco said. "In the second inning, I had another one between me and the catcher, so I had to break a little bit faster, quick, to get the ball and throw. But everything feels fine."

Carrasco said the injury has not affected his pitching motion and that he is ready to return.

"I just want to get back to help my team win some games," Carrasco said.

Worth noting
• Right-hander Mike Clevinger will move to the bullpen for depth on Wednesday.

"We told Clev that in the immediate future, he will be in the bullpen," Francona said. "Now that won't happen today. He wanted to go out there today. [Pitching coach] Mickey [Callaway] and I both think that's too soon. But tomorrow, he can be an added arm in the bullpen. I don't think we want to turn Clev into a bullpen piece this early in the year, but for the next couple days that's what it is."

• Right-hander Joba Chamberlain will likely throw a simulated game on Saturday. Francona still expects the reliever, who has been on the 15-day DL with a left intercostal injury, to return to the team when he is eligible on June 6.

"We were going to try to have a simulated game for him on Saturday," Francona said. "We just gotta figure out how we're going to go about that. None of the affiliates that are close are home. So we've got to figure out ... it's not the easiest thing sometimes getting hitters. So we'll work on that."

Shane Jackson is a reporter for based in Cleveland. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.