CLEVELAND (AP) — Indians starter Carlos Carrasco is being treated for leukemia, but remains hopeful he’ll pitch again this season.
Carrasco, who was diagnosed in June, told a TV station in the Dominican Republic about his condition while visiting a hospital, where he was seeing patients. The 32-year-old Carrasco feels positive about his prognosis and said he’ll be back with the team “at the end of July.”
Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. There are numerous forms of the disease, many of which are highly treatable.
Carrasco was not pitching up to his standards and feeling lethargic for weeks in May before getting checked. He told CDN that doctors “saw something different in my blood.”
The right-hander said he received more tests, and he and his wife were given his diagnosis.
The Indians have not commented on Carrasco’s diagnosis.
Following his diagnosis, Carrasco spoke with long-time teammate Jason Kipnis, who helped him research and understand what he was dealing with.
“He’ll get through this with the help of everybody,” Kipnis said last month. “I know the city will be very supportive of him. Every time anyone sees him they will wish him well and ask him how he’s doing. I’m sure he’ll still have a big smile on his face. He’s always in a good mood.”
Carrasco initially joined the Indians as a reliever, but has developed into one of the AL’s steadiest front-of-the-rotation pitchers. With a fun-loving personality, he’s also one of the team’s most popular players.
Carrasco won 17 games last season and went 18-6 in 2017, when he finished fourth in the AL Cy Young Award voting.
Before he was diagnosed, Carrasco was not pitching well. He went 4-6 with a 4.98 ERA in 12 starts, and gave up 14 home runs in 65 innings.
Carrasco, who is from Venezuela, has been with Cleveland since 2009, when he came over from Philadelphia in the blockbuster trade for ace Cliff Lee. The Indians signed him to a $47 million, four-year contract in December.