Carlos Carrasco to return from disabled list for Wednesday start

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The surprising Indians are just about to get a nice boost for their starting rotation.

Carlos Carrasco is expected to be activated from the disabled list to start Wednesday’s game against the Rays, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.

Indians manager Manny Acta said Carrasco is “good to go” and has “no restrictions” following his recent stint on the disabled list due to right elbow inflammation. The 24-year-old right-hander was allowed three runs on four hits over 3 2/3 innings Friday during a rehab start with Double-A Akron, but the Indians are clearly more focused on his health than the results.

Carrasco, who was acquired from the Phillies in the Cliff Lee deal back in 2009, has a 4.97 ERA and 18/10 K/BB ratio over his first five starts this season.

While some believe they are doing it with mirrors, the Indians haven’t missed Carrasco very much. Entering play Tuesday, their starters currently rank third in the American League with a 3.29 ERA.

Justin Verlander named ALCS MVP

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Following the Astros’ decisive 4-0 shutout over the Yankees on Saturday night, Justin Verlander was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series. Hall of Fame outfielder and former MLB manager Frank Robinson handed the award to Verlander, who was beaming as he thanked his teammates and members of the Astros’ organization.

“I’ve got to say, it came down to the wire, and one thing kept going off in my head was Dallas,” Verlander told the crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park. “When he called me, he said that I won’t regret my decision to join the Houston Astros. And here we are right now, it’s the best feeling in the world. We’ve got four more wins to win a World Series, and I do not regret my decision to come here. This is the best feeling a player can have. So, thank you.”

Among a cast that boasted the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, among others, Verlander was spectacular. He locked down a complete game win in Game 2, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and a walk and striking out a postseason-high 13 batters. In Game 6, he saved the Astros from elimination with seven scoreless innings, helping propel the club to their eventual 7-1 finish that set up their series-clinching finale on Saturday.

The 34-year-old righty also took his place among some postseason greats. Thanks to an eight-strikeout outing on Friday night, his collective 136 postseason strikeouts are good for sixth-most in MLB playoff history, just a smidgen shy of Tom Glavine (143), Mike Mussina (145), Roger Clemens (173), Andy Pettitte (183) and John Smoltz (199). He also joined Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling and Sandy Koufax as one of just four hurlers to strike out 20+ Yankees in a postseason series.