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Carlos Carrasco “a stretch” for Opening Day roster after MRI reveals elbow inflammation

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The Indians pitching depth grows shallower still

Los Angeles Angels v Cleveland Indians Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Mandy Bell reported this morning that an MRI performed on Carlos Carrasco’s elbow revealed mild inflammation. Now that it’s been inspected, detected, and injected, he’ll be shut down for the next several days.

According to Zack Meisel, the MRI ruled out any structural damage. At the time I wrote this sentence, I found no further information or reasonably-informed speculation.

For the Tribe, it means that Carrasco is likely to start the season on the injured list. We’ve gone from assuming a battle between Adam Plutko and Zach Plesac for the last spot in the starting rotation and are now looking at the possibility of Logan Allen and Jefry Rodriguez jockeying for the last spot. That will be dependent on Mike Clevinger’s ongoing recovery, Carlos Carrasco timetable for return, and the continued health of the rest of the rotation.

For Carrasco, the frustration must be immeasurable. After missing much of last season with leukemia (That still feels impossible to write), Carrasco must now miss an indeterminate amount of time with vague elbow inflammation. Honestly, I like this diagnosis a lot more than “discomfort”. That seems to be tossed around when a pitcher — say, Danny Salazar — doesn’t “feel quite right” despite a lack of physical signs of damage. Inflammation is at least something you can see, treat, and recover from.

There are sure to be updates as Carlos works back to full strength. In the meantime, I just hope he gets healthy and stays healthy. This isn’t even about wanting the team to win at this point; I just want Carlos to have a chance to play at his best again.