After Leukemia Fight Last Year, Carrasco Says He's Ready for 2020 Season

T.J. Zuppe

How does a pitcher stay sharp in preparation for the pandemic-shortened 60-game MLB season?

If you’re Indians righty Carlos Carrasco, you put a mound in front of your house and employ your neighbor to catch your offerings.

“I’ve been throwing every day, lifting, running,” Carrasco told reporters on a Zoom conference call on Friday morning. “Right now, I’m ready to go.”

Carrasco, shortly after throwing in the Progressive Field bullpen during the team’s first on-field workout of MLB summer camp, indicated his arm is already prepared to throw six innings.

That sort ability will be important when the truncated season begins later this month, as the typical slow build into a campaign won’t be possible this year in a season cut short due to COVID-19.

The health of his arm is notable, given Carrasco dealt with a hip ailment and some minor elbow inflammation before the growing pandemic resulted in the suspension and, ultimately, the cancellation of spring training in March.

More important, however, is Carrasco’s overall health, after he was diagnosed and then recovered from leukemia last season. Because of his illness, Carrasco is at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, even though he is in remission.

“[The organization does] a great job to follow all he rules, wear the masks,” Carrasco said.

“It’s a great setup in here. My teammates know what happened with me last year. They want to be careful and do things by the rules."

A new 60-game schedule for 2020 has yet to be released by Major League Baseball, but Opening Day is expected to be either July 23 or 24.

“I’m cleared to play baseball," Carrasco said. "That’s why I’m here supporting my team. I can’t wait to go back on the mound and just start pitching.”