Veteran right-hander Carlos Carrasco, whom the New York Mets obtained from the Cleveland Indians this past offseason as part of the Francisco Lindor blockbuster, has yet to pitch in 2021 because of a torn hamstring he suffered during spring training. However, Carrasco's Mets debut may be within sight.
On Saturday, Carrasco pitched four innings in Florida, which marks the second straight time he's been able to make it through such an outing without incident or discomfort. Afterward, manager Luis Rojas told reporters that Carrasco is now in line to join the Mets' rotation by the second week of May. As MLB.com's Anthony DiComo notes, the Mets will need a fifth starter early next month, but Carrasco is unlikely to be game ready by that point. That said, it's promising news that Carrasco now has a general timeline for his activation.
Now 34, Carrasco when healthy has been one of the most underrated starting pitchers in baseball. Since becoming a permanent fixture in the Cleveland rotation in 2015, Carrasco has put up an ERA+ of 126 with more than 1,000 strikeouts in 870 innings. He also boasts a K/BB ratio of 4.79 over that span. In 2017, Carrasco finished fourth in the AL Cy Young balloting.
While the Mets don't appear to be desperate for rotation help at the moment -- coming into Saturday they ranked fifth in MLB in rotation ERA and first in rotation FIP -- adding the likes of Carrasco to the mix will be a welcome development. Barring setback, that will happen soon enough.