The Cleveland Indians activated right-hander Carlos Carrasco from the 60-day injured list on Sunday, three months after he was diagnosed with leukemia.
Carrasco, 32, last pitched for the Indians on May 30 and revealed his diagnosis in July.
“I always thought I’d be back pitching this year,” he told reporters in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday before the Indians’ game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Carrasco said his faith, family and friends helped him to remain positive throughout the ordeal.
“Some people when they hear they have cancer, leukemia whatever you want to call it, normally they go, ‘Oh, my, God,’” he said, per Cleveland.com. “My mind went there for one second.
“Then I said, ‘What’s happening here? I’m a strong guy. I believe in God. I believe in my family. I have the support of my teammates so I stayed away from thinking about that. I never felt any negative thoughts. I always had good thoughts. That was the key.’”
While Carrasco’s 12 previous appearances this season have been as a starter, manager Terry Francona said earlier this week that the 10-year veteran will return in a relief role.
Carrasco said he lost some weight during treatment but otherwise feels “great.”
“I just feel happy to be here with my teammates and the support I have from them,” he said. “They believe in me and I believe in them because we’ve spent a lot of time together. We’ve been through good times and bad.”
Carrasco was 4-6 to start the season with a 4.98 ERA after going a combined 35-16 the previous two seasons, including tying for the American League lead with 18 victories in 2017 when he finished fourth in AL Cy Young voting.
He is 83-68 over his 10 seasons, all with the Indians, and has made 183 of his 219 appearances as a starter.
—Field Level Media