New York Mets right-hander Carlos Carrasco will make a minor-league rehab start on either Friday or Saturday before rejoining the big-league rotation next week, according to Tim Healey of Newsday. Carrasco has been sidelined since April 15 by right elbow inflammation caused by a small bone chip.
Carrasco, 36, had started three times this season prior to being placed on the shelf. Over the course of 13-plus innings, he compiled an 8.56 ERA (50 ERA+) and a 1.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio. A more worrisome development, perhaps, had seen his fastball velocity drop from 93.2 mph last season to 91.3 mph.
Certainly the Mets expected better from Carrasco when they kept him as part of a retooled rotation. Jacob deGrom, Chris Bassitt, and Taijuan Walker were all permitted to leave via free agency. In their place, the Mets signed Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, and José Quintana. Unfortunately for New York, that trio has thus far combined for five starts -- all courtesy of Senga. Both Verlander and Quintana have been out because of injury.
Factor in Max Scherzer's recent 10-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's policy on grip-enhancing substances, and the Mets rotation has been in a state of disarray throughout the first month-plus of the season. Water always stills, and that point is coming soon for the Mets.
Indeed, Scherzer will make his return to the rotation on Wednesday night. Verlander will make his season and team debuts on Thursday. Carrasco, then, will rejoin the club sometime next week, putting the Mets four-fifths of the way to their envisioned rotation. (Quintana is not expected to return to action until later this summer following bone-graft surgery on his rib.)
Those are all welcomed developments for the Mets, who entered Wednesday with a 16-13 record on the young season, putting them 3 1/2 games back of the Atlanta Braves in the National League East.