The New York Mets are holding steady in the first place of the National League East division despite an unprecedented rash of injuries that have heavily affected the roster. They already got back several key performers, such as Jacob deGrom, Taijuan Walker, and Pete Alonso, and they are all dominating, but one specific pitcher remains absent and just got more bad news regarding his recovery.
Carlos Carrasco, who came to the Mets alongside Francisco Lindor in a January trade with Cleveland, hasnâ€™t pitched this season after tearing his hamstring in March. And just when we all thought he was ramping up with an eye on returning by late June or early July, he took another step back.
The Mets insist itâ€™s not a setback, he has now stopped throwing off the slope of a mound despite doing so for some time. He will now work on strengthening his leg muscles so that his hamstring can endure the rigors of pitching big league games.
The Mets donâ€™t have a timetable
Naturally, the Mets donâ€™t know exactly when Carrasco will be back, and he is already significantly behind his initial 6-8 week estimate when he got hurt in mid March.
Of course, late June is now out of the question given that, once he strengthens his legs, he will have to go through a full Spring Training-style ramp-up plan in which he starts throwing from flat ground and graduates to a mound, throwing bullpens, facing live hitters and going to a rehab assignment.
In the meantime, Metsâ€™ starters other than David Peterson have been pitching extremely well, led by longtime ace Jacob deGrom but also joined by Marcus Stroman and Taijuan Walker, who happens to be among the league leaders in ERA.
Carrasco returning eventually, and being the same pitcher he has been over the course of his career, would be a significant addition to the rotation.