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Mets RHP Carlos Carrasco is back to throwing on Sunday, tossing the ball from 75 feet for the first time since he shut himself down with elbow soreness earlier in the week.
Carrasco arrived late to spring with a non-injury related reason and the elbow ailment forced more days away from gearing up for Opening Day. But, even though he's behind the rest of the pitchers, the veteran couldn't be anymore confident that he will be good to go for his first turn in the rotation.
"Oh yes, I will be ready. Yes," he told media members via Zoom with a big smile on his face.
This elbow soreness that he was dealing with earlier in the week is something that "Cookie" says is routine for him every spring. During the season, it goes away, but spring training always seems to bring it around.
When it happens, Carrasco knows when to shut it down and that's exactly what he's been telling the Mets' medical staff.
"It's always this point in the spring," he said. "During the season, it's nothing.
"I’ve been doing this in the past. I know my body, I know my routine, I know everything. I’m going to be ready for the season. I think that’s more important right now. I just started throwing today, but I’ll be ready.”
Manager Luis Rojas loves to hear that Carrasco is confident he'll be good to go when the first regular season games begin. But for now, he'll just take it day-by-day with the right-hander.
"I think it’s great to hear his optimism. Right now, for me, I’m just keeping it in this range," Rojas explained. "He threw today, felt great. That’s the feedback I got. He going to play catch tomorrow again, then he’ll throw a side. And then we’ll keep moving after that. So I’m staying in range and I gotta respect a guy like Carlos that knows his body very well. He’s an experienced pitcher. Let’s see this unfold right now through this week and maybe we can see if he’s going to be ready.”
So Rojas will focus on the next steps, which is throwing from 90 to 120 feet on Monday followed by a short, 10 to 15-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday. From there, Rojas will get a feel on if Carrasco can start facing live hitters again.
Through all of this, though, Carrasco isn't frustrated because he knows when the season is about to get underway, he'll be there for his team.
"I don’t feel frustrated about this. This is something normal for me and I’m really happy to start throwing today and just take it day by day now.”