The New York Mets kept a key piece of their starting rotation by picking up a $14 million option for Carlos Carrasco.
Carrasco returned to a standard workload last year following an inspirational battle against leukemia, a pandemic-shortened season, and an injury-shortened season from 2019-21 respectively. In 29 starts last year, he went 15-7 with a 3.97 ERA in 152.0 innings pitched, providing quality innings with their team’s aces shelved due to injuries.
NY Mets starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco should expect to rack up wins again thanks to a strong rotation, while proving himself reliable again.
Carrasco and pitching coach Jeremy Hefner should identify that the slider was his most effective of his primary pitches last year and that he should incorporate it more to the game planning. He used his slider 24.3 percent of the time, and yielded a 35.5 percent whiff rate and and expected batting average of .202. The slider has been an excellent put-away pitch against left-handed hitters throughout his career.
The fastball I expect will be used less frequently, as the opposition batted .331 against his fastball with a .549 slugging percentage, a pitch Carrasco used 35.1 percent of the time.
Other than that, Carrasco should post similar numbers with slight improvements in the end if he stays healthy, thanks to Steve Cohen and Billy Eppler’s offseason of addressing the rotation with authority.
With the uncertainty of the starting pitching market this offseason, from what Mets starters from last year were free and the sharp cutoff from the elite tier of starts to another, the Mets needed to pick up Carrasco’s option, and he becomes a luxury for the team in the bottom of the rotation.
With the Mets adding Justin Verlander, Jose Quintana, and Kodai Senga in free agency, Carrasco is projected to be the No. 4 or No. 5 starter in what figures to be the National League’s best rotation. So Carrasco is likely to be pitted against other team’s fourth or fifth starters, in which the Mets will have the starter advantage most of the time.
Here is a 2023 stats prediction for Carlos Carrasco for you: 30 starts, 14-9, 3.70 ERA, 163 innings pitched, 157 strikeouts.