UPDATE: This is what happens when you get your news from Twitter. A correction to the record has been made: it’s Carlos Santana alone getting knee surgery. Carrasco is safe and sound here in Columbus, where the women are strong, the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.
Not a good day to be a Carlos in Cleveland, as the Indians announced that both Carlos Santana and Carlos Carrasco are going to have season-ending knee surgery tomorrow.
I guess the Indians calling Santana’s injury a “sprained knee” the other day was an exercise in optimism. Though, of course, anyone who saw the injury the other day couldn’t help but think that we weren’t going to be seeing anymore of Santana this season.
Santana will be on a 4-6 month rehabilitation. That would put him in line to be ready for the start of spring training, assuming no bumps in the road. The Indians have to hope so. His .260/.401/.467 debut showed that Santan can be an anchor for this team for years to come.
Carrasco’s situation is just as dire. Carrasco is a pitching prospect who has bounced back and forth between Cleveland and Columbus this season.
The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.
In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.
The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.
Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”
It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.
It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.