Carlos Carrasco could return soon to depleted Mets rotation
NEW YORK -- Carlos Carrasco could return to the New York Mets next week, potentially making whole a rotation that has been ravaged by injuries this season.
Carrasco, who has been sidelined since April 16 because of right elbow inflammation, began throwing last week. Manager Buck Showalter said the 36-year-old was “… kind of semi-penciled” in for the rotation cycle.
Showalter said left-hander Joey Lucchesi will start the series opener against the Tigers in Detroit, after which co-aces Max Scherzer (suspension) and Justin Verlander (teres strain) are expected to return to the rotation for the final two games of the series.
Japanese rookie Kodai Senga, who last pitched on April 26, is scheduled to start at Citi Field against the Colorado Rockies. Showalter said the Mets hoped the early break would keep Senga - who pitched once a week in Japan - on a routine he’s accustomed to while also preparing him to potentially pitch every fifth or sixth day later in the season.
The Mets have an off day scheduled for before beginning a seven-game road trip to Cincinnati and Washington.
“A lot of variables,” Showalter said. “We’re trying to get the rest people need. We’re trying to see the off day coming there. And then all of a sudden, weather happens and it fluctuates.”
The Mets’ games against the Atlanta Braves were rained out over the weekend. The NL East rivals were set to play a doubleheader before New York headed to Detroit, where showers are in the forecast.
“We tried to project where Carlos is going to be back,” Showalter said. “There’s a lot of factors here.”
Senga is the only projected member of the Mets’ rotation to take every scheduled turn this season. Carrasco was 0-2 with an 8.56 ERA in three starts before going on the injured list. Scherzer, who was ejected from a start against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 19 for using a foreign substance, is 2-1 with a 3.72 ERA in four starts.
Verlander has yet to make his Mets debut after getting injured in his final spring training start. He tossed 4 2/3 scoreless innings in a rehab start for Double-A Binghamton.
Left-hander José Quintana, signed to a two-year deal in December, suffered a broken left rib in March and is on the 60-day injured list.