Following last night’s loss to Pittsburgh, the Mets optioned reliever Dale Thayer to Triple A Buffalo and recalled D.J. Carrasco. Thayer made only four appearances while with the big league club and was largely ineffective. In four innings, he allowed five hits and two earned runs, walking none while striking out one. In two of his outings he was charged with earned runs, while in another he allowed an inherited runner to score.
Carrasco, meanwhile, struggled during his first go-round in the majors this season. The righty made seven relief appearances with the Mets in April, totaling seven innings, and surrendered four runs on nine hits and three walks while fanning four, although he did strand all five runners he inherited. He also made one spot start against the Atlanta Braves, in which he lasted three and two-third innings and gave up three solo home runs.
At Buffalo, however, Carrasco has had more success. He’s made eight starts in addition to one relief appearance, and allowed 18 earned runs in 46.2 innings (a 3.47 ERA) on 46 hits and 17 walks with 37 strikeouts. In his two most recent starts, he’s pitched 15.2 innings and allowed just one earned run on six hits and four walks while punching out eight (in the second of those two starts, he took a no hitter into the sixth inning).
I recently speculated that the Mets wanted to keep Carrasco in the Buffalo rotation in case one of their starters went down. However, with Thayer struggling and the recent bullpen issues the Mets have had, Sandy Alderson & Co. decided to make a move and bring back the former Pittsburgh Pirate in hopes that he’s worked out his kinks in the minors. In addition to a fresh arm, Carrasco provides the Mets with flexibility, as he can work either in middle relief or provide some innings if a Mets starter gets pulled early.