CLEVELAND -- Melky Cabrera stood between first base and the pitcher’s mound almost in disbelief. Adam Eaton was low to the ground at second base and tried not to look toward the mound.
The way Cleveland Indians starter Carlos Carrasco hit the ground on Tuesday night, Cabrera was sure his line drive had been a direct hit to the pitcher’s head. Hours later, the White Sox outfielder was relieved to hear that Carrasco came out of the first-inning incident with perhaps the best outcome possible.
Carrasco, who left the game on a cart after spending several minutes on the mound, is showing no signs of a concussion or a head injury, Indians officials said. The right-hander also had X-rays that were negative and is said to only be suffering from a jaw contusion to his left side as the ball first glanced off his glove.
“At first I thought that ball hit him directly in his face but then I realized it was on the side and I heard he’s OK and it’s a relief,” Cabrera said through an interpreter. “I was very concerned.”
[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]
Carrasco immediately exited the game and the White Sox scored two runs en route to a 4-1 victory. It was until after the game the White Sox learned that Carrasco was better than expected.
“That’s beyond the baseball stuff,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “You just want to make sure that kid’s all right. Any time a guy gets hit like that, it’s always scary.”
On Wednesday morning, ESPN.com released their rankings of all 30 MLB team's starting rotations. The rankings were a nod to the current structure of the rotation, as well as how they were likely to perform in the future. And that is why the Chicago White Sox being ranked dead last in the league is somewhat alarming.
Overall, the White Sox rotation is 28th in WHIP and 29th in strikeouts.
Lucas Giolito is currently the team leader in wins with four, but his ERA sits at an unsightly 7.19. James Shields has been decent in spurts, but a general lack of run support has limited his effectiveness. Carlos Rodon has been a mixed bag since returning, but was able to reach the seventh inning in his last start. This is encouraging considering that he hadn't made it that far in any of his previous three starts. And Reynaldo Lopez continues to rack up quality starts—much like Shields—but has two wins to show for it.
Veteran players like closing pitcher Joakim Soria and Shields are sure to be hot names on the trade market, and that could go a long way towards bringing in additional prospects to build up the White Sox farm system, and lead to a much improved rotation in the future.
So the White Sox obviously deserve to be ranked lowly until they can groom their minor league starter prospects into MLB-ready staff members, something that looks like it could take longer than originally expected. Flame-throwing top prospect Michael Kopech is still amassing high strikeouts numbers, but he is walking over six batters per outing, showing an obvious issue with control.
White Sox fans can take their mind off of ESPN ranking the team's rotation 30th in the league by turning their attention to Eloy Jimenez. He has been absolutely crushing it in Double-A Birmingham, and will likely be making his debut with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights on Saturday. That game will be live on NBC Sports Chicago. So sit back, relax and look forward to the future, wherever it may take White Sox faithful.
In Part 2 of "Ask Us Anything" we answer the following questions: Who will be the biggest free agent the White Sox sign this off-season? What are the chances they trade Avi Garcia before the deadline? What's your assessment so far of Luis Robert? Who's on your all-time busted prospect list? Is Omar Vizquel the next White Sox manager? Would the 1994 White Sox have won the World Series if there wasn't a strike? What's the long term plan at third base? These questions and many more on this edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast.
If you missed Part 1 of 'Ask Us Anything', you can listen to the full episode here
Listen to the full Part 2 of 'Ask Us Anything' at this link or in the embedded player below: