New York Mets starter Carlos Carrasco will not make his spring training debut this weekend due to elbow soreness, manager Luis Rojas told reporters on Wednesday. Rojas said that the soreness came after Carrasco's live batting practice earlier this week, and that it's nothing too concerning because it's something the right-hander has experienced before in camp. The Mets manager also added that he does not believe Carrasco will receive an MRI but he will be shut down from throwing for a few days.
Carrasco previously underwent Tommy John surgery in September 2011 and eventually missed the entire 2012 MLB season as a result. He was 24-years-old at the time and pitching for Cleveland.
With Opening Day just three weeks away, Carrasco's seemingly behind the rest of the Mets pitching staff in terms of ramping up in time for the regular season. Rojas acknowledged the difficulty from this unexpected delay, but said the goal is for Carrasco to return sometime next week to face batters.
Assuming that Carrasco's soreness is nothing out of the ordinary and he's able to return to face live batters after a few days off from throwing, then he could be ready for his first turn through the rotation. In the scenario that Carrasco misses the start of the season, Rojas said the club will have to rely on their depth and cited David Peterson, Joey Lucchesi, Jordan Yamamoto and Jerad Eickhoff as pitchers who could possibly help fill in the open spots.
The Mets traded for Carrasco in January as part of their blockbuster, six-player trade that included All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor. Carrasco, who is entering his age-34 season, isn't a big-name starter in his prime but he was still certainly set to help the club's starting rotation this year. Plus, the Mets will be without Noah Syndergaard until at least late in the first half of the upcoming season, after he underwent Tommy John surgery in March of 2020.
During the 2019 season, Carrasco did not pitch from May until September after being diagnosed with leukemia that summer. He returned to the mound in September and was later named the 2019 American League Comeback Player of the Year.