Breaking: Carrasco Unlikely for Opening Day with Injury
On the cusp of a new season under a new regime, this is not what Mets fans wanted to hear. With just two weeks until Opening Day, Carlos Carrasco has picked up a hamstring injury. Once a lock-in for the rotation, his near future is now in jeopardy. Carrasco, who came to the Mets with Francisco Lindor via trade, was projected by many to slot right after Jacob deGrom.
What Do We Know?
Originally, Carrasco’s injury was classified as a hamstring strain. He picked up the injury during some conditioning training earlier today. Luis Rojas, manager for the Mets, said this about Carrasco: “He was running sprints and he felt a pull.” An MRI was taken shortly afterward and the injury was upgraded to a high-grade tear. With this new information, Carrasco could be out for 6-8 weeks at minimum.
The pitcher, who is about to turn 34, has not started any Spring Training games yet. Because of elbow soreness, the coronavirus vaccine and a couple of other reasons, he has been throwing live bullpen sessions instead. Despite all this, the plan was for him to still be ready for Opening Day.
The Mets’ Rotation Without Carrasco
Pitching depth is key for any good team and thankfully, the Mets were able to address this area recently. With Carrasco gone for the foreseeable future, the Mets’ rotation could look like this:
- Jacob deGrom: No argument here–he’s the best pitcher in baseball and is already slated to pitch Opening Day.
- Marcus Stroman: Despite not pitching last year due to COVID-19 concerns, Stroman is determined to re-earn his rotation spot this season. So far in Spring Training, he has a 2.70 ERA with 14 strikeouts and a 0.83 WHIP.
- Taijuan Walker: Walker, who was signed as a free agent this offseason, is somewhat of a veteran who can pitch here. Even though he hasn’t pitched much yet, he finished last year with a 1.37 ERA in his last six starts.
- David Peterson: Once a draft pick, Peterson has quickly become an important piece for the Mets. In his rookie season last year he had a 6-2 record with a 3.44 ERA. With Carrasco now injured and Noah Syndergaard set to return later this year, Peterson’s role has become that much more vital.
- Jordan Yamamoto: This spot is the one that is most contested, with multiple pitchers in the running. However, my pick goes to Yamamoto. Acquired from the Marlins this past offseason via trade, he has impressed so far in Spring Training. Despite a small sample size of just 8.1 innings, he has a 1.08 ERA, a 0.96 WHIP and five strikeouts. Like I said, however, the Mets could consider using guys like fellow newcomer Joey Lucchesi or Corey Oswalt.
While it is easy to panic and assume the worse, the truth is the Mets have made enough moves to prepare for this. They have plenty of pitching depth to withstand this unexpected injury–despite the daunting timetable they are faced with. Mets fans can never catch a break but things could certainly be worse. All we can do now is hope and pray that Carrasco recovers soon.