Carlos Carrasco entered the season as the projected fifth starter for the New York Mets. This felt like a luxury as Carrasco was rock solid for them last season, and had the track record of being a very strong mid-rotation arm. Unfortunately, things have gone horribly for Carrasco in what will undoubtedly be his final season with the Mets.
The right-hander has a 6.80 ERA in 20 starts this season. He has the highest ERA among pitchers with at least 90 innings of work. He has an ERA of 10.73 in his last seven starts. He simply looks uncompetitive. After going just 1.2 innings and allowing five runs against the reeling Angels, Carrasco should be removed from the rotation.
The Mets are a team 12 games under .500 and out of postseason contention. They sold at the trade deadline with their eyes set on 2024 and beyond. Carrasco being a free agent after the year has no shot at being a part of the Mets rotation next season with how he's pitched, so it's time to give another arm a shot in his place. Whether they move him to the bullpen or just DFA him I don't really care. Just remove him from the rotation and replace him with one of these four options.
1) NY Mets pitcher Joey Lucchesi should be in the rotation over Carlos Carrasco
I had initially thought that Carlos Carrasco wasn't even going to make Saturday's start against the Angels because of how well Lucchesi pitched in his spot start in St. Louis.
The southpaw was brought up to give Kodai Senga an extra day of rest and pitched remarkably well against the Cardinals. He pitched 5.2 scoreless frames against a Cardinals team that might be horrible but still has some really good hitters. Overall, Lucchesi has a 3.54 ERA in six starts this season for the Mets. His first start of the year was very reminiscent of the start in St. Louis as he dealt seven scoreless frames against the Giants.
Lucchesi has spent most of the year in the minors and most of his Mets tenure on the IL. He hasn't gotten much of a full-time chance in the rotation. It's hard to even judge who the Mets gave top prospect Endy Rodriguez up for.
Is it likely Lucchesi is part of this team's future? I'd say no. He's 30 and hasn't done much since back-to-back decent years in 2018 and 2019 for the Padres. Still, it's worth figuring out if Lucchesi can find a spot in the 2024 rotation, bullpen, or even in the minors as a depth arm. He'd still have an option next year so the Mets would be able to send him up and down from AAA.
This is the most realistic option, and Lucchesi should get the ball against the Mariners next weekend.