Tragedy has struck Major League Baseball again for the second time in less than a week, as on Saturday morning, the Cleveland Indians announced that star starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco has been diagnosed with leukemia.
The 32-year-old right-handed pitcher, affectionately nicknamed ‘Cookie’ by his teammates, had been on the injured list with an unknown blood condition for the last several months. He was just recently determined to have leukemia after doctors ran several series of tests on his blood.
Carrasco, born in Venezuela, first revealed the news to Latin American news outlet CDN 37 in Spanish on Saturday, telling them (via translation, below):
“At the end of May, they shut me down because they saw something wrong with my blood. 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. That’s one of the reasons why I’m not playing right now, but I’ll be back at the end of July.”
He further expanded upon the diagnosis in a video produced by his MLB team, the Indians, here:
So scary and so sad!!!
Carrasco’s teammate, second baseman Jason Kipnis, spoke to the media about Cookie before the diagnosis reveal, too, sharing just how much love there is for Carrasco in the Indians’ clubhouse (below):
“He’ll get through this with the help of everybody. 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.”
Good to know his teammates have his back! Also on Saturday, the Indians — and most of the rest of MLB — tweeted out messages of support using the hashtag #CookieStrong.
This is major news for MLB and the Indians, of course, and the team has (at least temporarily) lost one of their best starting pitchers as Carrasco battles the disease. From 2014 to 2018, Cookie was one of Cleveland’s strongest starters, winning 68 games over those five years and posting a 3.27 ERA — among the best on the team.
Of course, all that says nothing about the human toll that’ll be taken as Carrasco fights the disease here. Hopefully, however, it’s been caught early enough to overcome, and we’re praying Cookie is back on the field sooner rather than later doing what he loves!
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