Carrasco, Brown, Lewis called up
Carlos Carrasco ... coming to Cleveland.
Carlos Carrasco ... coming to Cleveland.
Indians Ink
Posted Sep 1, 2010

Carlos Carrasco will start the Indians' game against the Chicago White Sox at noon today. Other prospects remain with the Triple-A Columbus Clippers, who are making a push for the International League playoffs. The Indians want to get a good look at Carrasco this month against major league hitters, but at the same time do not want to damage the Clippers' chances. So others will stay in Columbus.

Also recalled were outfielder Jordan Brown and reliever Jensen Lewis.

The Indians activated left-hander Aaron Laffey from the disabled list on Tuesday -- and promptly assigned him to Columbus. That's to give the Clippers an experienced pitcher to replace Carrasco, who was Columbus' most dependable starter.

Indians manager Manny Acta explained that the organization wants to give Laffey work in meaningful innings rather than pitch him sporadically in Cleveland, where the bullpen has done a good job of late and everybody seems to have a set role.

Carrasco has pitched very well, especially in the second half for Columbus. The right-hander, one of four players acquired from Philadelphia at the July 2009 trading deadline, went 10-6 with a 3.65 ERA in 25 starts for Columbus. In 150 1-3 innings, he gave up only 139 hits, 46 walks, and struck out 133.

In a late-season callup a year ago, Carrasco did not do well. He was 0-4 with a 8.87 ERA.

Over his last eight starts this year with Columbus, the right-hander had a 2.08 ERA with only eight walks and 44 strikeouts in 47 2-3 innings, giving up 32 hits and going 2-2.

The more curious non-move is that of keeping third baseman Jared Goedert in Columbus. Third base has been a disaster since Jhonny Peralta was dealt to Detroit in July. Andy Marte, Jayson Nix and Luis Valbuena have done nothing to suggest any of them can play there on a regular basis. Of the three, Nix has displayed value as an offensive force with some home runs, though he seems much better suited to playing second base. So does Valbuena, who has really struggled at the plate all year in Cleveland. Marte looks very good at first base, erratic at third, and still has not put together any offensive consistency.

So Goedert, who on Tuesday night hit his 20th homer for the Clippers and 27th overall for the season, would be a logical choice to get a look. Apparently not, unless he does get called up after Columbus' season is over.

Goedert opened the year hitting .325 with seven homers and 32 RBI in 44 games at Double-A Akron. Since being promoted to Columbus, he has hit .271 with 20 homers and 48 RBI in 75 games.

Another of the Clippers' better offensive players has been outfielder-first baseman Jordan Brown, who got his first nine-game test in the majors in July. He hit .298 with eight homers and 67 RBI in 83 games in Columbus. Second baseman Cord Phelps, after his promotion from Akron, has been hot at the plate. He's hitting .323 with six homers and 31 RBI in 62 games at Triple-A and outfielder Matt McBride has three homers, 10 RBI and a .287 average in 26 games since his promotion.

Jensen Lewis, bounced between Cleveland and Columbus four times on options this year, and was a key part of the Clippers' bullpen. He went 2-1 with three saves and a 2.67 ERA in the minors. Closer Vinnie Pestano, promoted from Akron, continues to do well. He's 1-2 with 16 saves and a 1.59 ERA. He has 58 strikeouts in 45 1-3 innings at Columbus. Setup man Josh Judy is 3-0 with 53 strikeouts in 46 innings, four saves and a 2.74 ERA. Jess Todd, called to Cleveland briefly a month ago, is 4-2 with six saves, a 3.33 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 46 innings.

All of these players are deserving of a promotion. It is good to see Brown, Carrasco and Lewis back up.

It is understandable that the organization wants to see what the others do in a late-season drive for a playoff berth and then in the pressure of postseason play. After that, it will be interesting to see how many get called up, if even to sit on the bench and soak up big-league atmosphere.

In the old days, that was a no-brainer. Now, teams do not want players coming up and earning big-league time because each game puts them one day closer to becoming a free agent.

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