WASHINGTON — It appears as though Carlos Carrasco’s time with the Mets has come to an early end.
The Mets shut the right-hander down this week after a weight-room accident left him with a fractured right pinky over the weekend. Carrasco was placing a 50-pound dumbbell on the ground while doing a workout at Citi Field on Sunday, and the weight flipped over and crushed the pinky on his pitching hand.
Since then, he had back-to-back procedures to correct the injury, with the most recent coming Tuesday when he had a pin placed in his finger. The timeline for a return is 4-6 weeks, meaning he’s done for the season, and likely in New York as well. Carrasco will be a free agent following the conclusion of the World Series and his disastrous 2023 season isn’t likely to entice the Mets to sign him again.
“He had some good outings this year,” manager Buck Showalter said Tuesday afternoon at Nationals Park before the start of a two-game series against the Washington Nationals. “But not nearly as many as he would have liked or as we would have liked.”
This ends a lackluster tenure in Queens. Acquired from Cleveland in the trade for shortstop Francisco Lindor in January 2021, Carrasco made only 12 starts that season because of a hamstring strain. He didn’t really impress in those four starts, going 1-5 with a 6.04 ERA. He came back to win 15 games for the Mets in 2022, but an oblique strain took him out of action in August during the thick of the NL East race. This past season has been even more challenging for Carrasco. Bone spurs in his elbow landed him on the injured list in April. He returned, but the results were never there. The situation got so dire that the Mets recently had to remove Carrasco from the rotation. The plan was for him to pitch out of the bullpen but he hasn’t thrown since Aug. 26, when he was removed after less than two innings against the Los Angeles Angels.
The 36-year-old Venezuelan went 3-8 with a career-worst 6.80 ERA this season, his worst since his rookie season in 2009 when he posted an 8.87 ERA in only five starts.
“I think it was the command,” Showalter said. “He was wild in the zone a lot. A lot of two-strike mistakes. I don’t think he was able to find that consistency of locations with his pitches. You go back to some of his outings, he would be 0-2 after throwing a couple of really good pitches, then he would a flat sider or a split that didn’t really have finish on it. He would try to go down and away and it would be middle-in. It was pretty much a command thing.”
Carrasco isn’t with the team in Washington and he isn’t expected to join them in Minneapolis this weekend. Right-hander Jose Butto will take his spot in the rotation, starting Wednesday against the Nats.
It’s a tough break for a well-liked player. After undergoing heart surgery and overcoming chronic myeloid leukemia, Carrasco has always maintained a positive attitude and a positive approach to life. Struggles on the mound were nothing compared to the health battles he faced off of it, which helped give him some perspective on life.
It may not be the end of his career, but it’s safe to say it’s the end of time with the Mets.
“He’s going to pitch again for somebody next year,” Showalter said. “We’ll see if it’s with us or not.”
Edwin Diaz (patellar tendon surgery) will be on the last two road trips of the season with the Mets. The right-handed closer has advanced to the point in his rehab where the club wants him around team trainers and coaches. He’s approaching the final steps of his rehab, but the Mets still aren’t ready to say definitively that he will pitch before the end of the season.
Diaz will throw two bullpen sessions this week while the Mets play five games against Washington and Minnesota.
“Edwin is still right where he needs to be,” Showalter said.
Right-hander Sam Coonrod was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse to take Carrasco’s spot on the roster.
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