CLEVELAND – Not only will the Indians promote right-hander Carlos Carrasco from Triple-A Columbus today, he will start in the series finale against the White Sox.
Carrasco, who is 10-6 with a 3.65 ERA in 25 starts for the Clippers, has been on the Indians’ radar for awhile. He made five starts for Cleveland last year and most likely would have been promoted earlier if not for a minor right forearm injury.
To make room for the 23-year-old Carrasco in the rotation, the Indians will push Josh Tomlin’s scheduled start back a day, while skipping Jeanmar Gomez’s next turn. With Carrasco aboard, Cleveland is expected to go with six starting pitchers, skipping one periodically until the end of the regular season.
Right-hander Corey Kluber, who was acquired in the Jake Westbrook trade with St. Louis (July 31), was promoted from Double-A Akron to take Carrasco’s spot in Columbus’ rotation.
Manager Manny Acta said Carrasco and an unnamed reliever would be the only new additions to the Indians on the first day major league rosters can expand to 40 players.
“I think we’re headed toward that direction, because that series against Kansas City (Aug.27-29), our bullpen got beat up a little bit,” Acta said. “We feel like we can use another arm.”
Left-hander Aaron Laffey, who was activated from the disabled list Tuesday and optioned to Columbus after a bout with left shoulder fatigue, is not expected to get the early call. The Indians want him to pitch regularly for the Clippers, rather than sporadic appearances out of the bullpen on the big league level.
Acta said he would wait until Columbus’ season is complete before depleting the Clippers’ roster further. Columbus is in contention for an International League playoff spot, entering Tuesday trailing West Division-leading Louisville by a half game, while leading the wild-card race by 3½ games with seven left to play.
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Matt LaPorta missed his second straight game with a left hip strain, but the first baseman took pregame batting and fielding practice.
Acta said, if there were no setbacks, LaPorta would be available off the bench Tuesday night and would start Wednesday.
Columbus isn’t the only one of Cleveland’s minor league affiliates in the midst of a playoff push. Akron entered Tuesday 3½ games behind Harrisburg, which owns the second and final playoff spot in the Eastern League’s West Division, with seven games left in the regular season. … Advanced Class A Kinston entered Tuesday trailing Carolina League Southern Division leaders Winston-Salem by a game, while leading third-place Myrtle Beach by three games, with six games left. Because Winston-Salem has already clinched a postseason berth with a first-half division title, the second-place team would qualify for the playoffs, should Winston-Salem win the second half as well. … Class A Lake County has already earned a playoff spot after winning the Midwest League’s Eastern Division first-half championship.
Travis Hafner entered Tuesday batting .408 (29-for-71) with nine doubles, two home runs and 11 RBIs in 20 second-half games. Through Monday, Hafner was hitting a team-leading .311 since May 4, to raise his batting average from .189 to .282. … Today, 12:05, no television/WTAM 1100-AM/WEOL 930-AM. Carrasco (first start) vs. Garcia (11-5, 4.89).
Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or firstname.lastname@example.org.