Well, I know which game I'm watching tonight:
- The Cleveland Indians have called up pitcher Carlos Carrasco to make his major league debut in Detroit.
Carrasco was acquired from Philadelphia in July as part of the deal that sent Cliff Lee to the Phillies. The right-hander went 5-1 with a 3.19 ERA in six starts at Triple-A Columbus. He will start against the Tigers on Tuesday night.
You might recall that the Phillies, at least according to some accounts, didn't trade for Roy Halladay because the Blue Jays wanted Kyle Drabek a lot more than they wanted Carlos Carrasco. The Indians weren't so picky when trading Cliff Lee ... and while they'll miss Lee, Carrasco is one fine consolation prize.
Carrasco's stock presumably fell some this season because of his poor record and high ERA: 6-9 and 5.18 while pitching for the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate in Lehigh Valley. Through it all, though, Carrasco's strikeout and walk data were actually better than his career marks as a pro; better than the marks that got him listed among the organization's top prospects last winter.
Apparently there was little wrong with Carrasco that a little better luck and a bit more support from his teammates wouldn't cure. And since joining the Cleveland organization, his luck's been good and his control's been better than ever. Carrasco now has a wonderful Triple-A record that includes a 3.34 strikeout-to-walk ratio ... and he won't be 23 until next spring.
If you could have, right now, six years of Carlos Carrasco or one year and two months of Cliff Lee, which would you choose?
Lee, probably. Because young starting pitchers are so terribly unreliable. And because Lee's scheduled to earn only $8 million next year. But it's close. And won't appear close at all if the Indians can somehow keep Carrasco off the disabled list for most of those six years.