CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco has been diagnosed with leukemia.
The news first broke following an interview with a Dominican news station.
In June, Carrasco had been placed on the injured list due to a blood condition.
At that time the team said he was stepping away from baseball activities to explore treatment and recovery options.
In a video posted to the Cleveland Indians Twitter page Saturday afternoon, Carrasco said he was diagnosed in May.
“I have a lot of people behind me helping me, my teammates, my family, it is making me stronger every day,” he said in the video.
Leukemia is cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system.
Carrasco said the condition is currently “under control.”
Carrasco was not pitching up to his standards and feeling lethargic for weeks in May before getting checked. He told CDN that doctors “saw something different in my blood.”
The right-hander said he received more tests, and he and his wife were given his diagnosis.
“This is going to make me stronger than I’ve ever been,” Carlos said in a video.
Following his diagnosis, Carrasco spoke with long-time teammate Jason Kipnis, who helped him research and understand what he was dealing with.
“He’ll get through this with the help of everybody,” Kipnis said 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.”
Carrasco initially joined the Indians as a reliever, but has developed into one of the AL’s steadiest front-of-the-rotation pitchers. With a fun-loving personality, he’s also one of the team’s most popular players.
Carrasco won 17 games last season and went 18-6 in 2017, when he finished fourth in the AL Cy Young Award voting.
Before he was diagnosed, Carrasco was not pitching well. He went 4-6 with a 4.98 ERA in 12 starts, and gave up 14 home runs in 65 innings.
Carrasco, who is from Venezuela, has been with Cleveland since 2009, when he came over from Philadelphia in the blockbuster trade for ace Cliff Lee. The Indians signed him to a $47 million, four-year contract in December.