As Joey Lucchesi struggles, Carlos Carrasco's Mets return could be imminent

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Danny Abriano
·2 min read
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Carlos Carrasco pitching at 2021 Mets spring training
Carlos Carrasco pitching at 2021 Mets spring training

As Mets left-hander Joey Lucchesi was getting hit hard during Monday night's loss to the Cardinals in St. Louis, his potential long term rotation replacement was preparing to take perhaps the final step toward his return.

Carlos Carrasco, who has been out due to a hamstring injury, is slated to stretch to six innings on Tuesday during a rehab appearance in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

If all goes well for Carrasco on Tuesday, his next appearance would either be his Mets debut or one final tuneup with one of the Mets' minor league affiliates, manager Luis Rojas said on Monday.

The Mets will need a fifth starter again on May 8, while Carrasco would be lined up to pitch on May 9 or shortly after.

So perhaps New York will go one more turn through the rotation with a fifth starter not named Carrasco before he is activated.

But with the way Lucchesi has pitched in his three starts this season, it would be hard for the Mets to justify turning to him against the Diamondbacks at Citi Field this weekend.

Apr 22, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Joey Lucchesi (47) delivers a pitch against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Wrigley Field.
Apr 22, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Joey Lucchesi (47) delivers a pitch against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Wrigley Field.

In three starts this season, Lucchesi has allowed 12 runs in 8.2 innings while failing to pitch past the third inning in any of those starts.

And with Jacob deGrom pitching on Tuesday, followed by Marcus Stroman on Wednesday, Taijuan Walker on Thursday, and David Peterson on Friday, the Mets' starting pitcher for Saturday against the Diamondbacks is up in the air.

If the Mets do not use Lucchesi on Saturday, options include...

  • Jordan Yamamoto, who is set to begin the season with Triple-A Syracuse

  • Robert Gsellman, who saw time in the rotation last season

  • A bullpen game

Whatever the Mets decide, it is likely that at some point in the next 10 days or so, Carrasco will join the rotation.