Carlos Carrasco's debut with the Indians Tuesday night in Detroit was shaky, and not unexpected. Major league debuts for pitchers can be dicey. It's difficult to pitch effectively when the pitcher is also battling nerves. Carrasco's first inning looked like that of a pitcher who lost a battle with his nerves. The first six batters Carrasco facaed in the first inning all reached base, and he gave up six hits and four runs in the inning.
Carrasco threw 74 pitches in three innings, before being removed from the game, and I would dismiss his pitching line. You don't make a judgment on a pitcher off one start, good or bad, much less one start that is also the pitcher's major league debut. Let's wait until the end of the season, when Carrasco will presumably have had three or four more starts, before forming any opinions on him. This much is certain, though: Carrasco needs to be a significant addition to the pitching staff, and the sooner the better. The Indians traded Cy Young winner Cliff Lee to Philadelphia to get Carrasco and three other players, none of whom were ready for the major leagues at the time of the trade.
Carrasco is the first of the group to make it to the big leagues. If he's ultimately not at least a middle of the rotation starter, the Lee trade is going to look even worse than it already does.
Outfielder Michael Brantley also made his major league debut Tuesday night. Brantley brings two much-needed qualities to the Indians' lineup: He's fast, and he doesn't strike out very much. That should make him a good fit in an Indians lineup that has too many players who are slow and strike out too much. Brantley didn't hit for a high average at Columbus, but he is supposedly an above average defensive outfielder. He's a very interesting player who bears watching in September. An impressive showing in the last month of the season by Brantley may convince Indians officials to move Matt LaPorta to first base, in order to make room in the outfield for Brantley in 2010.