The Justin Verlander injury suddenly makes this offseason decision look better

Carlos Carrasco
Carlos Carrasco / Elsa/GettyImages

The New York Mets starting rotation was already set to a look just a bit different than it did a year ago.

Jacob deGrom…gone. He’s in Texas. Taijuan Walker…gone. He’s in Philadelphia. Chris Bassitt…gone. He’s in Toronto.

Max Scherzer? He’s still here. You know…the big money.

David Peterson…the young left hander with all of that promise? He, too, is still here. And made the rotation as the lone southpaw. He didn’t expect to…but he did. Because newly acquired 34-year-old lefty Jose Quintana is out indefinitely after the discovery of benign lesion on his rib.

Tylor Megill is now here to replace Justin Verlander following his injury.

And guess who is also still around? Carlos Carrasco. Don’t forget Cookie!

The Mets are dipping into their starting pitcher depth early and it's good to have Cookie Carrasco available

The 35-year-old right hander is the forgotten guy in the rotation. Well, he wasn’t forgotten in the offseason because he was the one Mets fans were all clamoring to include in a trade to be sent elsewhere…for just about anything in return.

Carrasco, acquired from the Mets as the “throw in” in the Francisco Lindor trade with the then Cleveland Indians, has been a mainstay. Carrasco pitched in eight full seasons for Cleveland and parts of three others. His best year was in 2017 when he went 18-6 with an ERA of 3.39. In the other seven plus seasons with Cleveland, Carrasco went 70-67 with an ERA of 3.85. And he was dependable. Even after a devasting diagnosis of chronic myeloid leukemia, a life-threatening cancer of the blood in June of 2019, Carrasco has returned to be a fairly formidable force on the mound, while other members of the rotation have each spent time, some significant, on the injured list.

And of all of the arms mentioned, it’s Carrasco that seems to be overlooked. And why? All Carrasco did in 2022 was win 15 games. After three consecutive years of making 12 starts, he came back proved he was healthy and made 29 starts for the Mets. Not too shabby. Sometimes the best trades are the ones that are not made.

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