New York Mets starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco exited his start with one out in the third inning on Tuesday afternoon against the Houston Astros with back tightness, the team announced.
Carrasco was facing Yuli Gurriel when, after an 89-mph sinker was fouled off, manager Buck Showalter and team trainers emerged from the dugout to check on the right-hander. The visit didn’t last long before the veteran hurler walked his way to the dugout and down into the clubhouse.
The Astros poached five runs off of Carrasco over the first three innings, including four in the first. Slugger Yordan Alvarez accounted for two of those dingers in what quickly became the pitcher’s worst outing of the season.
This appears to be another significant blow to an already very thin Mets rotation that has been running on fumes in recent weeks. Carrasco was putting together one of his better seasons as a pro, starting 8-2 with a 3.96 ERA entering Tuesday’s start.
While Max Scherzer could return from a strained oblique — which held him out since May 18 — as soon as Sunday against the Miami Marlins and Jacob deGrom isn’t too far behind as he works toward a season debut, the Mets have already lost Tylor Megill for at least four weeks due to a shoulder issue.
That leaves the team with Taijuan Walker, Trevor Williams, David Peterson, and Chris Bassitt as the team’s only healthy starters. Thomas Szapucki, who was mashed by the San Francisco Giants last month, could be an emergency option for the time being.
It only exacerbates general manager Billy Eppler’s need to scour the market for starting-pitching help — and depth — moving forward before the trade deadline.