Carlos Carrasco is already a favorite as the 2022 Comeback Player of the Year Award

Arizona Diamondbacks v New York Mets
Arizona Diamondbacks v New York Mets / Christopher Pasatieri/GettyImages

New York Mets starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco’s latest outing landed him as an early-season favorite for Major League Baseball’s 2022 Comeback Player of the Year Award. Against a star-powered San Francisco Giants lineup, the right-hander allowed just four hits over 7.2 innings of work. He fanned seven batters and over the span of six frames retired 18 consecutive Giants.

After a hamstring injury sidelined him until late July in his first campaign with the club, Carrasco was limited to just 12 appearances in which he yielded 36 earned runs in 53.2 innings pitched following his recovery. With a full off-season under his belt and much time for rehab, the 35-year old has returned to the mound unscathed thus far, and is seemingly back in command.

Through three starts this season, the veteran holds a 1.47 earned-run average and a WHIP of 0.60 (second best in the MLB just shy of Clayton Kershaw’s 0.50) through 18.1 innings pitched. In comparison to his COVID-19 riddled campaign of 2020 where he mustered a 2.91 earned-run average complimented by 82 strikeouts in 68 innings pitched, Carrasco is much more recognizable when considering his statline today.

The Mets have been working in the absense of the primary ace.

In the presence of future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer, Carrasco has aided alongside Chris Bassitt and Tylor Megill in filling the absence of today’s game’s best pitcher, Jacob deGrom. This Mets staff has managed to place top-five in four of the league’s five major pitching categories through the first two weeks of the season – wins (tied first with nine), earned run average (fourth with a 2.56), strikeouts (first with 134), and quality starts (fifth with four). They have done so without their primary ace, and Carrasco has undoubtedly been a major contributor to that success.

“The way those guys are playing and the way our guys are pitching, pay attention to that. I think that was the key,” Carrasco said following his latest start. “It was a long time that I could get to seven and two-thirds. It feels good as long as the team is winning.”

Steve Cohen's master plans are unfolding for the Mets.

Steve Cohen’s front office is witnessing the relentless arm they envisioned upon the trade two years ago: a reliable, healthy Carlos “Cookie” Carrasco who is rediscovering his knack for finesse punchouts and defensive workability. The Mets marked the 10-win accolade, making them the quickest club in baseball to do so.

The league is better when the Amazin’s are dangerous: real dangerous.

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