CINCINNATI — A baserunning mishap turned into Fausto Carmona’s latest low.
The Indians put the starting pitcher on the 15-day disabled list Sunday after he strained his thigh in a tumble at first base the previous day. They also activated closer Chris Perez off the bereavement list for the final game of a series against the intrastate rival Cincinnati Reds.
Carmona was Cleveland’s lone All-Star last season, when he went 13-14 with a 3.77 ERA and showed signs of developing into a top-notch starter.
He’s taken a huge step back this season, losing 10 of his first 14 decisions. And then there was that bad step as he approached first base during a 3-1 win over the Reds in an interleague game Saturday.
“It’s bad,” Carmona said, sitting on a folding chair in front of his locker Sunday morning. “It’s very, very disappointing for me.”
Heading into his start Saturday, the right-hander had lost seven of his last eight starts, giving up 41 runs in 43 innings. He was tied for the AL lead in losses and led the league in runs allowed. He made it through the first two innings against the Reds, then bunted in the top of the third and hustled to beat a throw to first.
He tripped as he approached first base, flew over the base and landed hard on his chest. He laughed at first, got up and touched the base, then felt something in his right thigh. He left the game for an examination and treatment.
With the All-Star game coming up, Carmona hopes that he might end up missing only one start.
“I know it’s a bad year, but you never know,” he said. “It’s a long season. Now with this ...”
Manager Manny Acta plans to move Carmona back in the rotation after the break. He’s not sure which Triple-A pitcher will take his place in the rotation next Thursday against Toronto.
Acta thought Carmona was showing signs of coming out of his slump before he got hurt.
“Especially with the way he threw the ball the last couple of games,” Acta said. “We feel he’s headed in the right direction, and then this happens.”
Perez went on the bereavement list before the start of the series so he could attend his grandmother’s funeral in Florida. The Indians won the first two games, improving to 5-0 against Cincinnati this season.