Indians hopeful Carrasco won't miss next start

Indians hopeful Carrasco won't miss next start

CLEVELAND -- The Indians are optimistic that Carlos Carrasco's minor chest injury will not force a shakeup of the starting rotation.

On Tuesday, Tribe manager Terry Francona noted that Carrasco -- removed from Monday's 8-7 win over the Rays after 3 2/3 innings due to a left pectoral strain -- will be shut down for the next two days, while receiving treatment. Then the right-hander will resume a five-day throwing program with the goal of starting again for the Indians on May 23 in Cincinnati.

"I think Carlos feels like he'll be more than ready," Francona said. "The trainers are fine with that."

The Indians' scheduled off-day on Thursday allows the team to shuffle its rotation rather than reaching to Triple-A Columbus for a replacement for Carrasco.

Barring anything unexpected, Cleveland's upcoming probable pitchers, following Danny Salazar on Tuesday, will be Josh Tomlin (Wednesday vs. Rays), Trevor Bauer (Friday at Astros) and Mike Clevinger (Saturday at Astros). Salazar would then be projected to start again on Sunday (at Astros), with Tomlin following on Monday (at Reds).

If Carrasco's setback only requires him being pushed back a handful of days, that will be great news for the Indians, who are already without ace Corey Kluber (10-day disabled list with a lower back strain). On the season, Carrasco has gone 4-2 with a 2.60 ERA in 52 innings, making him a critical part of Cleveland's starting staff, especially with Kluber sidelined.

"It's not going to be a long period of time for either [Carrasco or Kluber]," Tomlin said. "So we just have to try to keep our heads above water as long as we can and wait for those guys to get back. They are obviously a huge part of our rotation."

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 Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.