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The Indians' starting pitcher announced the diagnosis on Friday, but says he plans on returning to the mound by the end of July

By Matt McNulty
July 06, 2019 02:40 PM
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Carlos Carrasco
Credit: Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco revealed he has leukemia, and still plans on pitching this season.

The 32-year-old hasn’t pitched since he was diagnosed last month with leukemia, which is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow.

“At the end of May, they shut me down because they saw something wrong with my blood,” Carrasco told CDN 37 in Spanish, as translated by USA Today. “The doctors got a little worried and they sent me for a blood test, another blood test. The blood levels were off, the platelets were really high. The following week, my wife and I went to the hospital, and they told us I have leukemia.”

Carrasco added, “That’s one of the reasons why I’m not playing right now, but I’ll be back at the end of July.”

Carrasco has been an invaluable addition to the Indians’ starting lineup, having gone 68-43 while posting a 3.27 ERA from 2014-18.

This season, the Venezuelan-born Carrasco had a 4.98 ERA in 12 starts according to USA Today.

“He’ll get through this with the help of everybody,” Carrasco’s teammate Jason Kipnis told ESPN 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.”

The Cleveland Indians are currently second in the wild-card standings and 6.5 games behind the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central division.

Carrasco had recently signed a four-year, $47 million contract in December, according to ESPN. He’s played all ten seasons of his professional career with the Indians.

On Twitter Friday, many MLB teams tweeted the hashtag #CookieStrong in support of Carrasco.