Carlos Carrasco is finally ‘trending right’ in his progression from a torn hamstring

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Carlos Carrasco appears to have finally turned the page in his effort to return from his torn hamstring.

The right-hander threw off the slope — not the rubber — on Saturday for the first time in about a month. It’s a baby step for Carrasco, who has ever-so-slowly advanced from throwing at full strength on flat ground to now throwing off the edge of the mound. His next step will involve climbing to the top of the rubber and throwing a bullpen session at “full tilt,” per manager Luis Rojas.

The Mets have been encouraged by Carrasco’s progress of late.

“He’s trending right,” Rojas said. “His arm feels really good, his leg feels really good. But he’s going to start a progression and we’re going to start doing more and more of throwing on the slope.”

The club is continuing to pay attention to how Carrasco’s hamstring responds to every progression considering the multiple setbacks he’s suffered since February. Of late, he has been doing strength and conditioning exercises in the Citi Field outfield and moving around efficiently. Rojas said throwing off the slope “shouldn’t be a problem for him.”

“It’ll be another good test,” Rojas said. “But he feels great. … He’s been working really hard. His legs are strong, his arm is strong. The next step will probably be to keep climbing [to] the top of the slope and throw a regular side.”

Carrasco, 34, has spent his first season as a Met on the injured list with a right hamstring tear that he sustained back in spring training. The injury has sidelined him for four months and counting, in addition to putting the Mets rotation in a pickle. Combined with Noah Syndergaard’s setback in his rehab from Tommy John surgery, the Mets have missed a consistent fifth starter for the majority of the season.

Carrasco’s impending return will still take some time — he still must advance to rehab assignments, face live batters and lengthen his outings — but if all goes well, he could become a legitimate factor for the club as soon as late July.

STROMAN ON TRACK

Marcus Stroman (left hip soreness) appears to have avoided a serious injury. He is slated to take the mound for his usual turn through the rotation on Sunday in the series finale against the Phillies. The ground-ball pitcher left his last start on Tuesday against the Braves in the second inning after hyperextending his hip. He has since gone through his normal routine between starts and the Mets expect him to return healthy without having missed any time.

BETANCES MAY BE HEALTHY… BUT CAN HE PITCH?

Dellin Betances again had a rough outing in his rehab assignment for Triple-A Syracuse and the Mets again insisted they were not concerned with the results. Betances allowed three earned runs, hit a batter and walked two across 0.1 innings on Friday in Triple-A. He has a 19.64 ERA in five rehab outings between the Low-A St. Lucie Mets and Syracuse.

“The first thing is we want him healthy.” Rojas said. “We want him throwing like he can throw. His reads have been good from our perspective. We like the reads. We like the arm angle. We like the release point. We like the fastball where it is to what it was ... That’s what we’re looking at, nothing more.”

The Mets expect Betances to return to help the bullpen out in their current stretch of 16 consecutive games and no off-days until the All-Star break. Essentially, Betances will replace Robert Gsellman (right lat strain) as the long man out of the bullpen and eat up some innings when need be.

The club expects Betances’ velocity, which was firmly in the low 90s throughout spring training and in his lone relief appearance this season, to increase the more that he throws. But the Mets are under no pretense that he will be the Betances of old, who was frightening to face with triple-digit fastballs in 2018.

“When he meets us, he’s going to be of great help,” Rojas said. “He’s an experienced guy, he’s got a lot of big outs here in New York. I just think he’s going to make our bullpen even better.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting