Indians' Carrasco to pitch out of bullpen if he returns in 2019
Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Cleveland Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco is getting closer to his return to the mound.

Out since May 30, Carrasco has been undergoing treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia. If he does pitch again in 2019, he'll do so as a reliever instead of his customary spot as a starter.

"When we broached the subject to him, his eyes kind of lit up when we talked about that," manager Terry Francona said, according to Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com. "Just because it seems obtainable. I think when he started thinking about being built (back) up as a starter it kind of seemed daunting, faraway. This is something he can latch onto and be a part of our team and really help us. It doesn't seem so faraway."

Carrasco threw a simulated game Friday, and his fastball velocity hovered between 90 and 93 miles per hour. If he gets the green light over the weekend, the 32-year-old will throw one inning in a rehab assignment at Double-A on Monday.

Even though Carrasco won't be returning to the rotation this year, the Indians are in pretty decent shape in that department. Mike Clevinger and Shane Bieber have been lights out, and staff ace Corey Kluber is nearing his own return to the active roster.

If Carrasco is effective in relief, he'll bolster what's already been an area of strength for Cleveland. Entering Saturday, the Indians' relief corps boasts an MLB-leading 3.32 ERA.

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Indians' Carrasco to pitch out of bullpen if he returns in 2019
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