Thu, Mar 11, 2021
By Jim Vassallo (Veri.bet Writer)
In what could turn out to be a big blow to the New York Mets’ plans on winning the National League East, starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco has stopped throwing. Mets manager Luis Rojas believes that it’s nothing to be concerned about, but with pitching the name of the game in a tight NL East, Mets fans should be worried.
Carrasco was already behind other pitchers in camp because he underwent further medical evaluation after his battle with Leukemia recently. Carrasco also received the vaccine for the Coronavirus due to his compromised immune system.
Now, the starter has stopped throwing because of soreness in his elbow. He will turn 34 on March 21.
In a press conference following a Mets Spring Training game, Rojas told reporters the following about Carrasco’s situation:
"He's been experiencing some body aches because of the second vaccine that he got yesterday, so we've been paying close attention to that with him. But also he's experienced some soreness in his elbow right now, apparently coming from the live BP (batting practice) that he threw the other day. Right now, this is nothing too concerning from a medical standpoint. So he's just going to take a few days off without throwing, and we expect him to be back maybe by the end of next week facing live batters."
This will be Carrasco’s first season with the Mets and his first in the NL East since he was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2003. He was traded to the Mets by the Cleveland Indians with star shortstop Francisco Lindor for a package of four players, including Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez.
Carrasco had already been penciled into the starting rotation with Jacob deGrom, Taijuan Walker, Marcus Stroman, and David Peterson. If he is not ready for the start of the season the Mets will need to find a replacement, which could hurt their chances of keeping pace with the Atlanta Braves early in the year.
The Mets will already be without starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard for a chunk of the season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.
"He is making this sound like it's something that's happened before and then he just goes through it, some elbow soreness, and gets right back on the mound. We'd rather [be] on the cautious side always and make sure that we're safe for the long run. This year, we're playing a marathon again. We want Cookie to be healthy. If it got to come to a question where the health is going to be compromised, I think we're going to be on the safe side starting the season, of course."
If you are preparing to place a bet on the NL East race, you might want to wait until more info becomes available about Carrasco. If it turns out that he will miss significant time, on top of Syndergaard being out, your money might be better spent on the Braves instead of the Mets as 2021 division winners in the East.