Indians’ Carlos Carrasco will play this season despite being high risk

Sep 1, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Cleveland Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco (59) looks on in the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We have seen multiple MLB players opt out of playing the 2020 season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. That includes three players from the defending champion Washington Nationals.

In what is somewhat of a surprising decision, this Cleveland Indians star has decided to play in 2020 despite having just recovered from leukemia.

Indians’ Carlos Carrasco will play this season despite being high risk

Carrasco was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia back in 2019. He came back to pitch for the Indians last season.

Though, the situation is vastly different heading into a shortened 2020 season. Those with preexisting conditions such as Carrasco are at higher risk of serious illness and death.

It’s one of the primary reasons that Major League Baseball indicated high-risk players could opt out of the 2020 season while still receiving their full prorated salaries. The veteran was having none of that.

“You know what, I’m here. I think that’s most important,” Carrasco said Friday, via Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com. “I just found out everything with my medical staff and doctor. I’m here to play baseball and that’s why I’m here to support my team and I can’t wait to go back on the mound and just start pitching.”

That certainly takes some guts right there. It shows that Carrasco is a team player. Cleveland has World Series aspirations. He’s valuable to said aspirations.

MLB season slated to start July 23

Opening Day will feature a nationally televised doubleheader, including the New York Yankees heading to D.C. to take on the Washington Nationals.

The remainder of the schedule has not yet been released. That’s expected within the next week.

COVID-19 cases in the United States

Carrasco’s decision to risk his health comes at a time when COVID-19 is spreading unchecked around the United States. According to estimations, there were 58,000 new cases of the virus in the country over the past 24 hours (as of Friday evening).

It’s going to be interesting to see how baseball navigates through everything with cases increasing dramatically. The good news here is that an initial pool of tests of MLB players came back Friday with a 1.2% positive rate.