Right-hander Carlos Carrasco resumed throwing today, pitching one inning (about 20 pitches) in a simulated game setting, Mets skipper Luis Rojas tells reporters (Twitter link via Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News). The Mets remain hopeful that Carrasco can be ready for the Opening Day roster, though that much can’t be known until they see how he feels after throwing this morning and until he builds up more in subsequent throwing sessions. The Mets paused Carrasco’s throwing work last week after he reported some discomfort in his right elbow, but his shutdown was rather brief, lasting just eight days.
Some more notes out of Port St. Lucie…
- Noah Syndergaard threw off a mound this morning, with Mike Puma of the New York Post providing some video footage for interested Mets fans (Twitter link). Rojas tells reporters that Syndergaard, who is on the mend from 2020 Tommy John surgery, is not yet to 100 percent but nevertheless reached 96 mph with his fastball in this morning’s session (via MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo). The 28-year-old won’t be ready for the Opening Day roster, of course, but based on his current trajectory he could be back in the mix by early summer. He’ll be a free agent at season’s end.
- Reliever Jacob Barnes is impressing Mets staffers thus far in Spring Training, writes Greg Joyce of the New York Post. Barnes, a 30-year-old right-hander who was claimed off waivers back in October, worked extensively with pitching coach Jeremy Hefner to deepen his understanding of the analytical side of pitching. “Up until this point, I didn’t really have that,” said Barnes of the data-focused approach taken by Hefner. “So I was just going out there just assuming what worked and didn’t. He pretty much gave me a blueprint of, ‘This fastball works really well here and here and the slider [there].'” Barnes is out of minor league options, so he’ll need to either make the Opening Day bullpen or else be designated for assignment.
- Joey Lucchesi is another Mets newcomer impressing decision-makers, as Thosar explored last night. Rojas and others were pleased with yesterday’s start, as well as Lucchesi’s work in simulated games thus far in camp. He’s in the running for the fifth starter’s job, along with David Peterson and Jordan Yamamoto, both of whom have pitched well. Rojas notes that Lucchesi is stretched out and won’t be used in the bullpen for now, which suggests he’ll be optioned if he doesn’t break camp with a rotation gig. That’d be a disappointing outcome for Lucchesi himself, but the very presence of such a decision speaks to the improved pitching depth the Mets possess in 2021 — something they haven’t had as much of in recent seasons.