Carlos (fondly known as “Cookie”) made his last start of the season on May 30. At the time, not many details were released describing the condition that caused him to step away.
It was later revealed Carrasco was battling leukemia.
The City of Cleveland rallied behind the right-handed starting pitcher. Carlos began to fight the disease and then he began to fight to get back into the game.
“I just convinced myself that I was going to beat this disease, and then … I did everything in my power to focus on that goal.”
He did just that by returning to the mound on September 1. That was an emotional and inspirational scene as he emerged from the bullpen at Tropicana Field. The Tampa Bay Ray’s as well as Carrasco’s teammates poured out of the dugout to give him a standing ovation.
Carlos finished the season with 11 relief appearances. During this time fans and players were seen wearing “I Stand With Cookie” shirts. His comeback was already respected amongst the Indians’ however it is quite an accomplishment to win the MLB AL comeback player of the year. Typically, a player gets injured and bounces back the following year. Carrasco made his comeback in the same year, which is truly inspiring.
While being named by the MLB for this award is honorable, it’s more than that. Cookie brought together a fan base, a city, a team and inspired people fighting their own personal battles. What Carrasco has accomplished is bigger than baseball.