Carrasco suffers broken pinkie finger, likely to miss rest of 2023

The 36-year-old right-hander is a free agent at the end of the season

September 5th, 2023

WASHINGTON -- Mets pitcher was in the Citi Field weight room on Sunday when, according to manager Buck Showalter, he dropped a 50-pound dumbbell on his right pinkie finger and fractured it. Carrasco subsequently had a pin inserted into the finger and went on the injured list prior to Tuesday’s game against the Nationals.

A typical recovery for that sort of injury is 4-6 weeks. The Mets do not expect Carrasco back this season.

“He’s going to pitch again next year for somebody,” Showalter said. “We’ll see if it’s for us or not.”

The injury puts a bizarre capper on a disappointing season for Carrasco, who missed time early in the year due to a bone spur in his right elbow. When healthy, Carrasco routinely struggled, producing a 6.80 ERA over 20 starts -- highest in the Majors among pitchers with at least 90 innings.

“He was wild in the zone a lot,” Showalter said. “It was pretty much a command thing. He had some good outings this year, but not nearly as many as he would have liked or we would have liked.”

The injury is likely to end not just Carrasco’s season, but his Mets career as well. The 36-year-old will be a free agent in November and isn’t an obvious fit for the franchise going forward.

The team originally acquired Carrasco in the deal that also netted shortstop Francisco Lindor from the Guardians in January 2021. His first season in New York was marked by injury, as Carrasco missed the entire first half due to a torn right hamstring and produced a 6.04 ERA upon his return. But the right-hander rebounded to start 29 games in 2022, tying for the team lead with 15 wins while posting a 3.97 ERA.

That performance was enough for the Mets to pick up the $14 million club option on Carrasco’s contract, hoping to unlock more of what made him one of baseball’s most consistent and durable starters from 2014-18. It simply did not happen.

“We leaned on him,” Showalter said, “and it just didn’t work out for him.”

To replace Carrasco on the active roster, the Mets recalled reliever Sam Coonrod from Triple-A Syracuse. Rookie José Butto will start Wednesday against the Nationals in what used to be Carrasco’s spot in the rotation.