Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco was supposed to be headed for Triple-A Columbus to begin the season. Instead, he will make his 2013 debut for the Indians on Tuesday night at Progressive Field against Andy Pettitte and the Yankees.
This start has been a long time coming for the 26-year-old Venezuelan, who missed all of last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Carrasco lost out to Scott Kazmir for the final spot in the Indians' rotation but now is filling in for Kazmir, who hit the 15-day disabled list with a right rib-cage injury.
Carrasco was activated on Sunday after serving a suspension stemming from a 2011 incident against the Royals.
"I just feel happy," Carrasco said. "I went to Columbus, and on Friday afternoon I received a call from the manager; he told me I was going to pitch on Tuesday. I'm just so excited and got surprised when he told me I was coming to Cleveland to pitch against the Yankees. The most important thing is I served my suspension and everything. Now, I can be here. I'm just getting ready for my start."
Carrasco, one of the pieces the Indians acquired for left-hander Cliff Lee in 2009, is 10-15 with a 4.93 ERA in 33 career starts. He went 8-9 with a 4.62 ERA in '11.
"I feel healthy," Carrasco said. "Really, everything is coming together. I thought I was going to Columbus, but now everything is different. I can't wait to pitch [on Tuesday]."
Carrasco will face a Yankees lineup that is dealing with injuries to the likes of center fielder Curtis Granderson, shortstop Derek Jeter and first baseman Mark Teixeira.
"They're a little beat up right now," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "To be totally honest, I hope they stay beat up until Friday. They have some injuries. Some of the veteran guys that aren't healthy are a big part of what they do."
A depleted lineup didn't stop the Yankees from pounding out 13 hits in Monday's 11-6 win, the opener of a four-game series. Robinson Cano went 3-for-4 with two home runs, and Travis Hafner homered and drove in four.
Pettitte will hope for more support like that as he takes the hill for his second start of the season. On Thursday, the lefty began his 18th Major League season by beating the Red Sox for his 246th career win, easily the most among active players. He held Boston to one run on eight hits in eight innings, walking one and striking out three.
Yankees: Plenty of chances for Stewart, Cervelli
• Chris Stewart started his third game at catcher on Monday, going 1-for-4. On the season, he's 4-for-16 (.250), and he's been splitting time with Francisco Cervelli, who has started four games thus far. Cervelli is 4-for-13 (.308) with a home run and five RBIs.
"Just keeping them both involved, I think that's important," manager Joe Girardi said. "As I said, the first month, I'll play it out. Stewart's at-bats have been pretty good, too. Stewie's hit the ball pretty hard, too. This first time through, I'm kind of giving them the same guys twice so there's some consistency and you can build off that."
• Eduardo Nunez returned to the starting lineup, playing shortstop, and went 0-for-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts on Monday. He had missed two starts with a bruised right bicep after being hit by a Doug Fister pitch in Detroit on Friday.
Indians: Santana nursing thumb bruise
• Catcher Carlos Santana exited Monday's game in the ninth inning after suffering a left thumb contusion when a fastball from closer Chris Perez hit him above his glove. X-rays taken after the game revealed that the thumb was merely bruised, leaving Santana day to day.
Santana went 1-for-2 with two walks on Monday and is hitting .500 with a .750 on-base percentage this season.
• Cleveland is expected to activate Jason Giambi from disabled list before Tuesday's game, filling an open spot on the 25-man roster.
Giambi signed with the Indians as a free agent during the offseason but has been recovering from a back injury. He likely won't start against the left-handed Pettitte but could get an opportunity on Wednesday or Thursday, with the Yankees scheduled to start right-handed pitchers.
Giambi struggled last season with the Rockies but in only 152 plate appearances in 2011, he blasted 13 home runs and slugged .603 for Colorado. He also has eight career pinch-hit homers.
• Despite Pettitte's long tenure, no Indians player has faced him more than 11 times. Pettitte has a 3.84 ERA in 11 starts at Progressive Field but hasn't pitched there since 2009.
• Carrasco went 1-1 with a 4.92 ERA in two starts against the Yankees in 2011.
Andrew Simon is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.