With the news of Jacob deGrom being shut down for at least four weeks from throwing, the New York Mets are in trouble right out of the gate. deGrom obviously will not pitch on Opening Day as planned and will likely be out until sometime in May or June.
The Mets will have to tread water without the best pitcher in the world pitching for them, something that they failed miserably at last season as they went from being in first place for most of the season to finishing in third and eight games under .500.
The Mets did sign Max Scherzer and trade for Chris Bassitt which helps a lot. Obviously it's a huge blow, but the Mets should be able to not fall completely out of it. However, for that to happen, everyone needs to step up.
In order for the Mets to stay afloat, they need Carlos Carrasco to be the pitcher they traded for.
The top half of the Mets rotation is fine. I trust Scherzer and Bassitt to be Scherzer and Bassitt. The next man up is Carrasco. The Mets traded for him to be a big-time arm in their rotation. Unfortunately, he was nothing close to that last season.
Carrasco tore his right hamstring which caused him to miss the beginning of the 2021 season. He only made 12 starts for the Mets and was not good at all. He posted a 6.04 ERA in 53.2 innings pitched, only going further than five innings twice.
His main issue was the first inning as he allowed 18 earned runs in those 12 first innings. He allowed eight home runs and opposing hitters slashed .404/.444/.877 to begin games. This put the Mets in early holes seemingly every start and with their underperforming offense, they were out of games very early.
With the Indians, Carrasco was very consistent as a starter. He had a four-year stretch from 2015-2018 when he averaged 29 starts per year with a 3.40 ERA. He averaged 180 innings pitched in those seasons as well.
Carrasco is 35 years old now, so those days of 30 starts and 180 innings might be behind him, but the Mets need him for the first couple of months to be Carlos Carrasco. Just keep the Mets in games and let their offense win them. If he allows three runs over six innings, the Mets would take that any day. Quality starts are what the Mets will desperately need, especially with the unpredictability with guys like Taijuan Walker and Tylor Megill or David Peterson,.
The Mets should be fine, but that's with the assumption that they will get something out of Carrasco. If he pitches like he did last season, the Mets will be in big trouble. They can't get that out of their third starter. It would've been much more manageable if he was at the end of the rotation.