3 Mets players who need to step up in Jose Quintana's absence

Feb 28, 2023; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets manager Buck Showalter (11) replaces New
Feb 28, 2023; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets manager Buck Showalter (11) replaces New / Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Mets were dealt a big blow, as Jose Quintana is set to miss what looks to be at least the first half of the season with a rib injury. Quintana was one of the Mets big free agent acquisitions, and he's now going to be out for a substantial period of time.

Quintana was supposed to be the fourth starter for this Mets team. He was coming off an outstanding season pitching for the Pirates and Cardinals, and now the Mets are going to have to prepare for life without him.

With Quintana out, the Mets will need three pitchers, in particular, to step up. They already needed Verlander and Scherzer to be co-aces, but they need more from other pitchers who will have more prominent roles.

1) NY Mets SP Carlos Carrasco must be a consistent starter

Carlos Carrasco has had his ups and downs in his tenure with the Mets. Things couldn't have gotten off to a worse start for Carrasco as a Met as he tore his hamstring and ended up missing most of the 2021 season. He came back in the end of July and looked like a shell of himself, posting an ERA over 6.00 and allowing runs in seemingly every first inning.

Carrasco settled in nicely last season, giving the Mets 29 starts and a 3.97 ERA. This solid performance and good health got the Mets to exercise his club option for $14 million. Carrasco was slated to be the fifth starter before the Quintana injury, but he now has increased responsibility.

With Quintana out and Kodai Senga dealing with his own health issues, Carrasco could suddenly be the number three starter on this team. That means the Mets will need more of the good than the bad from the veteran.

Carrasco's tenure has been inconsistent. He'd have a good month followed by a bad one. For example, Carrasco pitched to a 3.60 ERA in five May starts last season. They'll certainly take that. He then pitched to a 6.37 ERA in six June starts. This was followed by a 0.90 ERA in five July starts.

Carrasco seems to have a great start followed by a bad one. He's had a rough start to his spring allowing five runs and four home runs in nine innings of work. The Mets need him to be closer to the guy he was in Cleveland for them to keep pace with the others beasts of the NL East.