The Mets announced that right-hander Carlos Carrasco suffered a fracture of his right fifth finger. They estimate his recovery timeline is four to six weeks. He will be placed on the 15-day injured list with righty Sam Coonrod recalled in a corresponding move. Given that there’s less than a month left in the regular season and the Mets are out of contention, his season is quite likely over. Manager Buck Showalter told reporters, including Abbey Mastracco of the New York Daily News, that Carrasco broke his finger when a fifty-pound dumbbell fell on it. He already had a pin inserted and should have a normal winter. Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reported Carrasco’s impending trip to the IL prior to the official announcement.
It’s been a frustrating season for both Carrasco and the Mets. The club picked up a $14MM option for his services this year instead of a $3MM option, a decision that seemed reasonable at the time. He made 29 starts last year with a 3.97 earned run average, making it a fairly defensible decision to trigger that net $11MM decision.
Unfortunately, he missed over a month of the season due to right elbow inflammation and hasn’t been his best when on the hill. Through 20 starts, he’s logged 90 innings with a 6.80 ERA. Last year’s strikeout and walk rates of 23.6% and 6.4% both got worse this year, going to 15.8% and 9.1%, respectively.
The club ran up the highest payroll in history this year but didn’t get the results they hoped for, with the rotation a key problem. Both Justin Verlander and José Quintana started the season on the injured list and Carrasco joined them shortly thereafter. Max Scherzer also pitched through some minor ailments and then got a 10-game sticky stuff suspension. The club fell out of contention, traded away both Scherzer and Verlander prior to the deadline and then put Carrasco on waivers after it. No one claimed Carrasco and he stuck with the Mets, who were planning to move him to the bullpen to finish the season, but he’ll now most likely finish the season on the injured list instead.
Carrasco’s contract expires at season’s end, which will send him to free agency. It will be the first trip to the open market for the veteran, as he twice signed extensions with Cleveland before coming to the Mets in the same trade as Francisco Lindor. It’s obviously not the ideal platform season for him to take into free agency, but he should still garner interest on some kind of bounceback deal based on his career track record. He has a 4.04 ERA in 1,538 innings dating back to his 2009 debut.
For the Mets, they will play out the string with a rotation of Quintana, Kodai Senga, Tylor Megill and David Peterson, with José Butto, Joey Lucchesi, Peyton Battenfield and Denyi Reyes options to jump in when a fifth starter is needed.