The youth movement isn’t always a bad thing when it comes to the small market Cleveland Indians. Sure, they don’t spend a lot of money, and they trade away every good player they have, but there’s something to be said for watching young guys develop into Major League starters.
A perfect example of this is Carlos Carrasco. A guy once thought to be the Phillies best pitching prospect, Carrasco hit speed bumps in triple-A and was all but an afterthought at one point. But the talent level was still there, despite his troubles. And a move to the Indians in the Cliff Lee deal seemed to be just what he needed.
The 24-year-old SP had a 3.65 ERA in the minors last year before being brought up and having some good outings, ending the year with a sub-4 ERA and a 2-2 record in the bigs.
And his performance has paid off. Indians manager Manny Acta recently announced that it’s almost a guarantee that Carrasco will be in the starting rotation this season.
“I think Carrasco has done enough in Triple-A already,” Acta said. "And he pitched well enough for us last year in September that he’s got a leg up on that [fourth] spot in the rotation. We’re not saying that a guy like him, or a few more that we’re not going to mention here, could probably pitch themselves out.
“It’s pretty safe to say that he’s going to be one of those five guys.”
The rotation may be shaky at times, and they still need a veteran fifth starter, but if they can develop some consistency, the mix of Carrasco, Fausto Carmona, Justin Masterson and Mitch Talbot should continue to get better. If the Tribe can get anything out of guys like Huff or Reyes, great. If they can find an experienced starter to a reasonable 1-2 year deal (ala Carl Pavano), even better.
The end game is to bide time until Alex White is ready to break through to the majors.