(CNN) — It isn’t an everyday occurrence that a baseball pitcher receives a standing ovation from the audience when they make their way to the mound.
But Cleveland Indians star Carlos Carrasco jogged on the area and had the fans at Akron’s Canal Park on their feet as he stepped out of the bullpen in the sixth inning.
Carrasco’s warm reception was because he made his first little league rehabilitation look.
“It feels great as people were behind me the whole way,” Carrasco advised the MLB site. “From day until now.”
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A surprising comeback
The Venezuelan missed the entire 2012 MLB season.
And on his road Indians manager Terry Francona said Carrasco pitched around 90-93 miles per hour in a game.
However, the proved he had more in the tank as on the very first pitch of his assignment in Akron. Carrasco fired in a 97 mph which surprised even himself.
“You know what, it feels fantastic because the first time coming back in 2 and a half months without baseball and only a few bullpens, maybe four or three bullpens, and the very first pitch is 97 [miles ],” Carrasco said.
“Right away, I looked back into the scoreboard because I only wanted to find out what was that pitch, and it was 97 miles and it seems great.
“I was amazed because most of my pitches were way different than before. Even my changeup, also.”
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Returning to the big time
In case Carrasco’s on-field performances made him hot in Cleveland, his ventures also have made him a figure there.
With the support of his spouse the Venezuelan set up the Carlos Carrasco Foundation which funding early childhood education in Cleveland and back home in Venezuela.
Last Saturday, Francona said the strategy was supposed to keep Carrasco on a reliever’s program to facilitate him back and finally back into the Major Leagues at Cleveland.
“I believe when he began thinking about building up as a newcomer, it kind of seemed a little daunting, a little way off,” the supervisor said.
But observing an outing which included 11 of his 16 pitches clocking at greater or 94 mph, the return of Carrasco could be sooner rather than later.
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“I’m ready to go,” added Carrasco. “We are going to have to wait until tomorrow to see what’s the next step.”