CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - After standing up to cancer last year, wearing a mask on the field is no big deal for Carlos Carrasco.
It’s what he has to do to play the game he loves.
Carrasco, entering his 11th season with the Indians, is more excited than ever for Friday’s season opener.
“I’ve been waiting for this since last year,” he said.
But he hasn’t just been waiting around.
Carrasco has been working, even at home during quarantine, where he built a pitcher’s mound in his front yard.
“He sent me a video,” said pitching coach Carl Willis. “It’s beautiful.”
Carrasco took every turn in the intrasquad games, gradually ramping up the innings, the command and the velocity.
He was a 88 mph two weeks ago; his last start, he hit 94.
If that “Cookie” can keep up, the Tribe will have the veteran leader they need with Corey Kluber gone.
He has no worries about his health, and his teammates welcome his positive attitude.
“I’m stoked! It’s good to see him, always,” said pitcher Shane Bieber. “Whenever we’re talking about Cookie, it’s always about what a bright spot in the clubhouse he is and his personality. You can still see his smile, even behind a face mask. He’s the man.”