A role for Carlos Carrasco if his struggles continue
The New York Mets may be put in between a rock and a hard place when it comes to their starting rotation. With the imminent return of Justin Verlander, they will need to think hard about how the back end of the rotation will round out.
After a solid 2022 campaign, Carlos Carrasco has had a brutal start to the season getting trounced in both of his starts.
Usually this early into the season I would not put so much weight into it, giving Carrasco the time he needs to get back into form, but this year is different. With the re-emergence of Tylor Megill and David Peterson as solid dependable starters, there is really only one role for Carrasco if and when Verlander returns from the IL.
It is time to consider Carlos Carrasco for a role as the Mets long man in the bullpen.
It may seem harsh considering his veteran status, but if he doesn’t produce and continues towards this downward trend, a move must be made.
You can’t award him for these struggles while Megill and Peterson are giving the Mets opportunities to win every time they go to the mound. At the very least both of them have kept this team in each and every game they have pitched.
I respect Carrasco for all he has accomplished in his career and for being a solid member of this rotation last year. He even carried the rotation for some parts of last season while deGrom and Scherzer were injured.
However, this move to the bullpen would not only benefit the Mets but Carrasco as well.
We’ve seen his struggles in the first inning return just like back in 2021. Maybe a different routine might get him back on track. Maybe a couple of short outings could help build his confidence back up.
For the Mets, we know what this move means. It means a logical replacement for Trevor Williams, who excelled as the long man last season.
Williams was an unsung hero for this team, whether he pitched one inning or sometimes up to five or six. He even got a few starts along the way.
I know I am not the only one who was upset when he left for our NL East rivals, the Washington Nationals. I respected the move because he really wanted to start and was not going to get that opportunity here but it didn’t hurt any less.
Carrasco could slot into Williams role and, I think, could succeed. It’s a role that he is familiar with dating all the way back to 2013. As a matter of fact, Carrasco has pitched 77 innings as a reliever and has a pretty decent ERA to boot (3.16).
Megill and Peterson are no strangers to the bullpen, but they didn’t look comfortable doing it. They struggled in those opportunities.
I am sure if Buck asked them to do it they would do it in a heartbeat but we all know that the long man in this bullpen needs to be Carlos Carrasco.