Sowers routinely worked his way through the first couple innings without incident, but after passing through the order once, he was shelled the second and third time around. Unfortunately, as Tom Hamilton noted on Sunday’s broadcast, Carlos Carrasco has been suffering from those same issues.
Take a look at Carrasco’s career splits based on the number of times the hitter has seen him in the game.
|1st PA in G, as SP||42||376||333||27||84||14||3||8||35||63||.252||.322||.384||.706|
|2nd PA in G, as SP||42||373||341||65||115||29||1||13||23||44||.337||.385||.543||.927|
|3rd PA in G, as SP||40||280||250||49||82||23||1||11||21||56||.328||.375||.560||.935|
Carrasco’s numbers the first time through the order are perfectly respectable. But as soon as the order turns over, it immediately goes downhill.
These numbers are disturbingly similar to Sowers’ career splits detailed below (actually, they’re a little worse).
|1st PA in G, as SP||71||637||578||61||145||32||1||17||49||82||.251||.311||.398||.709|
|2nd PA in G, as SP||71||621||562||87||173||46||0||18||46||48||.308||.357||.486||.842|
|3rd PA in G, as SP||66||429||382||70||116||18||4||14||32||40||.304||.365||.482||.846|
The logical solution for a pitcher like this is to move them to bullpen. The Indians never even tried with Sowers (he had just one career relief appearance) but as a soft-tossing lefty it was reasonable to assume he wouldn’t be a great fit there either.
Carrasco on the other hand has the stuff to excel in the pen. And while the sample size is small (just eight career relief appearances) he has been successful there in the past, with a 1.32 ERA and a 0.878 WHIP.
Between Josh Tomlin, Trevor Bauer and the rehabbing Shaun Marcum, the Indians have plenty of other options and if this trend continues for Carrasco, it’s only a matter of time before the Indians try to turn him into the next Jose Mesa.