June 29, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Indians notes: Carrasco set to return tonight

CLEVELAND — As expected, Carlos Carrasco will be activated from the disabled list to start tonight against the Rays.

Carrasco, who has been sidelined since April 28 with a sore right elbow, will take the spot of right-hander Jeanmar Gomez. Gomez was sent down Sunday after making three starts (four appearances) in place of Carrasco (1-1, 4.97 ERA in five starts).

The Indians filled Gomez’s roster spot by promoting reliever Frank Herrmann from Triple-A Columbus on Tuesday. Herrmann, who made the club out of spring training, is back for his third stint in Cleveland, but is expected to be optioned back to the minors when Carrasco is officially activated.

Gomez, 23, returns to the Clippers’ rotation after going 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA in Cleveland.

“He did well,” manager Manny Acta said. “It’s good for us to have a guy like him as depth.”

Carrasco will return to the Indians rotation after making just one rehab start for Double-A Akron — four runs on four hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings.

Talbot’s tale

Carrasco’s rotation mate, right-hander Mitch Talbot (strained right elbow), made a four-inning rehab appearance at extended spring training camp in Goodyear, Ariz., on Monday.

“It went well,” Acta said. “He threw all of his pitches. He was fine.”

Talbot, who has been on the DL since April 17, is expected to make at least two more rehab starts before returning to Cleveland, the last at Columbus.

In the meantime, right-hander Alex White will continue to fill in for Talbot. White, the Indians’ first-round draft pick in 2009, has pitched well in two his first two big league starts, going 1-0 with a 3.75 ERA.

“He’s a great competitor,” Acta said of the 22-year-old University of North Carolina product. “He’s got a tremendous heartbeat out there for a guy that just got called up and is two years out of college. He’s been impressive so far.”

Surprise, surprise

Few predicted the Indians would be on top of the Central Division with one of the best records in baseball after the first month of the regular season, but Acta contends that he saw it coming.

“It doesn’t surprise me that people far away are calling it a surprise,” he said. “I think if you followed our ballclub in the second half last year, and with the ingredients we added, you could tell we were going to have a better club.

“I can’t sit here and say I’m surprised at what these guys have done. I know I’m in the minority.”

Local ties

Reliever Adam Russell, a 2001 North Olmsted High graduate, is a member of the Rays’ bullpen, entering Tuesday with a 1-1 record and a 2.48 ERA in 14 appearances.

The Ohio University product and Huron resident entered this season with a career 7-1 record and 4.50 ERA in 49 games with the White Sox and Padres.

Tampa Bay’s starting pitcher Tuesday, right-hander Andy Sonnanstine, attended Wadsworth High School and Kent State University.

Minor details

Columbus (24-7) led the International League in hits (306), batting average (.297), runs (197), RBIs (184), slugging percentage (.464), on-base percentage (.388) and walks (146) through Monday. Clippers outfielder Jerad Head, a non-drafted free-agent acquisition in 2005, entered Tuesday with a team-leading .375 batting average in 21 games, four homers and 17 RBIs. … Akron catcher Chun-Hsiu Chen, a non-drafted free agent (2007) from Taiwan, led the Aeros with four homers and 17 RBIs in 27 games through Monday. … Advanced Class A Kinston relievers entered Tuesday without allowing a run over their last 38 2/3 innings. … Class A Lake County left-hander Mike Rayl improved to 4-0 with a 2.29 ERA Monday, allowing two runs on six hits, while striking out eight in five innings of the Captains’ 9-5 victory over Lansing. In his previous start, Rayl, a 15th-round draft pick in 2009, took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, allowing just a hit, while striking out 11 in seven scoreless innings.

Roundin’ third

The Indians entered Tuesday with the largest run differential in the majors, scoring 165 runs to their opponents’ 117. … Cleveland pitchers had allowed the second-fewest hits (273) in the American League, while allowing the fewest walks (97) through Monday. … The Indians entered Tuesday with an 18-2 record against the Rays at Progressive Field that dates back to the 2005 season. … Tonight, 7:05, STO/WTAM 1100-AM/WEOL 930-AM. Carrasco (1-1, 4.97) vs. Price (4-3, 3.26).

Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or cassenheimer@chroniclet.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.