Carlos Carrasco opened the 2013 season serving a six-game suspension he received for intentionally drilling Kansas City’s Billy Butler in 2011. Now he could well be looking at another one after seemingly intentionally drilling Kevin Youkilis following a Robinson Cano homer in the fourth inning Tuesday.
Immediately after Cano drove a ball out to left center to give the Yankees a 7-0 lead, Carrasco hit Youkilis in the shoulder area with a fastball. The Yankees went on to win 14-1, with Cano driving in five runs.
The odd thing about the ejection was that home-plate umpire Jordan Baker, a newcomer on the scene who umpired his first major league games last June, tossed Carrasco the ball after the HBP, only to eject him afterwards. It still wasn’t clear until after Terry Francona went to get him that Carrasco had been tossed.
After losing out to Scott Kazmir on a rotation spot, Carrasco, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, was originally expected to open this season in the minors. However, the Indians carried him in order to burn off the aforementioned six-game suspension. The Indians were giving him a spot start tonight, and they’re likely to send him to Triple-A tomorrow.
Joining Cano in homering for the Yankees tonight were Ichiro Suzuki, Kevin Youkilis, Lyle Overbay and Brennan Boesch. Brett Gardner finished with four hits.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.