Carlos Carrasco's troublesome year took another turn this week, when the Mets pitcher underwent surgery to remove a bone fragment from his right elbow. The team said in a release that Carrasco “will resume baseball activities later this winter,” while a person with knowledge of the procedure indicated the right-hander should have no trouble being ready for the start of Spring Training.
That same source said that Carrasco had been aware of the bone fragment for some time, but he wanted to try to pitch through it after losing the first four months of the season to a right hamstring tear. Carrasco was able to do so, albeit without consistent success, going 1-5 with a 6.04 ERA over 12 starts.
The Mets need Carrasco, a 34-year-old who is under team control through 2023, to give them more next summer. They acquired him last January in the blockbuster trade that also brought shortstop Francisco Lindor to Flushing. At the time, the Mets expected Carrasco to be a stabilizing force in their rotation, given his average of 171 innings per season with a 3.27 ERA from 2014-18. But medical issues, including a leukemia diagnosis and a heart condition, forced him off the field for large portions of ensuing years.
Carrasco has thrown just 201 2/3 innings combined over the last three seasons.
He will return to Spring Training nonetheless assured a rotation spot given his past track record of success. Carrasco, Jacob deGrom and Taijuan Walker should form the core of New York’s starting five, with potential free agents and younger pitchers filling out the rest.