With Carmona temporarily removed from the roster, the Indians activated closer Chris Perez from Major League Baseball's bereavement list. Perez was with family in Florida for the past few days, attending funeral services for his maternal grandmother. The closer rejoined Cleveland's bullpen on Sunday.
For the time being, the Tribe will carry eight relievers -- rookie Josh Judy was promoted from Triple-A Columbus on Friday after Perez left the team -- until the team needs a starter to fill Carmona's spot in the rotation. Carmona was initially scheduled to pitch next against the Blue Jays on Thursday.
Cleveland is hoping that is the only start Carmona will need to miss.
"We're anticipating that he's probably just going to be out for the 15 days and that he's just going to miss one start," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "Then with the All-Star break, that's going to give us a god timeframe for him to make the next start."
Due to the upcoming July 11-13 All-Star break, Thursday's outing would have been Carmona's final start of the first half. The Indians will likely shuffle their rotation coming out of the break, making it possible that Carmona could be activated from the DL and placed in the five-slot for an outing on July 18 against the Twins.
Carmona hopes to be back in the rotation on time.
"That's what I want," Carmona said. "I don't want to miss anything. I'm not happy. I don't like the DL."
The injury bug keeps gnawing on Cleveland's roster.
Carmona is the fourth Indians starter to land on the DL this season. Pitchers Mitch Talbot, Carlos Carrasco and Alex White have also been shelved at various points this season. Cleveland is also currently without first baseman Matt LaPorta (right ankle) and right fielder Shin-Soo Choo (broken left thumb).
Come Thursday, the Indians will dip into their Triple-A Columbus roster for a replacement starter. Acta would not tip his hand as to Cleveland's thinking, but noted that the Minor League rotation's schedule, combined with the 40-man roster, would both be factors in the team's decision.
"A lot will have to do with who's lined up or close to being lined up for that day," Acta said. "Also, obviously, being on the 40-man roster will play a role, which I don't think is going to be an issue with the guys we have starting there."
Left-hander David Huff (8-2, 3.74 ERA) and right-handers Jeanmar Gomez (8-2, 2.49) and Zach McAllister (8-3, 2.97) are all on the Tribe's 40-man roster. McAllister appears to be the top candidate, considering his next scheduled start falls on Wednesday. Gomez and Huff were the Clippers' probable starters for Sunday and Monday, respectively.
The Indians also have lefty Scott Barnes performing well at Columbus. In 14 games since being promoted from Double-A Akron, Barnes has gone 7-2 with a 3.40 ERA for the Clippers. Barnes' next start is slated for Tuesday and he is not on the 40-man roster, meaning a subsequent roster move would be needed to promote him to Cleveland.
One thing is certain -- the Indians are thrilled to have so many options.
"[That] makes us very happy," Acta said. "Even Barnes, who got moved up from Double-A, has been throwing the ball extremely well over there. You can never have enough pitching. It's good -- good."
Carmona's injury occurred in the third inning of Saturday's 3-1 Interleague victory over the Reds at Great American Ball Park. After bunting a pitch from Reds starter Homer Bailey, Carmona charged up the first-base line. As he closed in on the bag, Carmona said a sharp pain flared in his right leg.
What followed was an arm-flailing, belly-flopping disaster made for the blooper reel.
"The way he went out, we were kind of laughing," Indians reliever Joe Smith admitted. "Then when we came in and we got to kind of find out [what happened], it stinks when your starter goes down and gets hurt. Hopefully he'll be back."
Carmona indicated that he was scheduled to undergo an MRI on his ailing leg in Cleveland on Monday. The pitcher also scraped up his arms during the fall and had hurt his pitching hand on a play earlier in the game. In the second inning, a hard comebacker off Bailey's bat cut the webbing between Carmona's right index and middle fingers.
Carmona did not sound worried about the hand issue.
"The finger is OK," said the pitcher. "If I didn't have [the leg injury], I probably could've kept pitching."
Instead, Carmona exited after logging two innings. On the year, the sinkerballer is 4-10 with a 5.78 ERA in 18 starts. The overall results have not been pretty, but Acta saw progress from Carmona over his past two outings, including his abbreviated stint on the hill in Cincinnati.
"We all feel he's heading in the right direction," Acta said. "This happens."
Acta also would not blame Interleague Play on the mishap.
Under American League rules, the Indians would use a designated hitter and Carmona would not be asked to hit or run the bases. Playing in National League stadiums, though, pitchers are required to hit.
Acta did not fault the rules for Carmona's injury.
"It can happen to the NL pitchers, too," Acta said. "Pitchers run all day, so that's not an excuse for getting hurt or anything like that. It's just a freak accident -- it happens. It could've happened to him two days ago when he was running in the outfield.
"Of course, [AL pitchers] don't have the same type of practice as the guys in the National League."