Carlos Carrasco is confident that he will be on the mound for the Mets during their first go-around through the rotation to start the 2021 season after dealing with elbow soreness that temporarily shut him down.
“I will be ready,” he said.
The veteran righty, who was acquired from the Cleveland Indians alongside Francisco Lindor, threw from 75 feet on Sunday — his first action since being shut down last week when he felt discomfort after throwing live batting practice.
“It was from the work that day,” he said. “I just felt something a little there and took a couple days off. Just wanted to give a little more time to settle.”
Naturally, there was some concern that he would not be able to make his first start of the 2021 season considering he has limited action throwing to live batters this spring and has yet to appear in a spring-training game.
But this is nothing new for the 33-year-old.
“I’ve done this in the past,” he said, adding that this only happens in the spring and not the regular season. “It’s a pain… When the time arrives, I know what I need to do, take a rest, and then start throwing again.
“It’s normal and I only missed a couple days. I’m back today. Just started throwing nice and easy today and tomorrow and move on.”
Manager Luis Rojas wasn’t ready to make such a certain statement about Carrasco, though.
“It’s great to hear his optimism,” he said. “Right now, I’m just keeping it in this range: He threw today and felt great… I have to respect Carlos, a guy who knows his body very well… Let’s see this unfold throughout this week and see.
“You have to trust his feel for his body and his experience and our medical staff.”
Carrasco said he felt “pretty good” after throwing on Sunday and will continue a program in the coming days that includes throwing from 90 and 120 feet before throwing a bullpen session.
Even with just over two weeks remaining until Opening Day, Carrasco remains steadfast in his ability to get ramped up and ready to go.
“I’ve been playing this game for a long time… the experience is there,” he said. “I just want the season to start so I can start pitching and enjoy the season.”
As it stands, Carrasco is slated to be the Mets’ No. 2 starter behind staff ace Jacob deGrom in 2021 in a rotation that will also feature Marcus Stroman, David Peterson, and the winner of a competition that includes Jordan Yamamoto and Joey Luchesi for the final No. 5 spot.
“I feel so great to be with this group,” Carrasco said. “To be in the orange and blue is a good feeling. All those guys out there in the clubhouse, they have a lot of energy so I can feel relaxed… They are a pretty good group of guys in here.”