The Mets' banged up pitching staff is inching closer to getting a significant piece back from the Injured List.
Starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco is set to make his first rehab start on Thursday with High-A Brooklyn. According to multiple reports, Carrasco will throw between 1-3 innings.
As general manager Zack Scott and manager Luis Rojas have both said, Carrasco might not need to fully ramp up before re-joining the big-league club.
Carrasco has yet to make his Mets debut after tearing his hamstring in spring training, and suffering a number of setbacks along the way.
Last week, he threw two bullpen sessions to live hitters, and was also seen doing fielding drills at Citi Field. Carrasco appeared to be moving well off the mound, and practiced sprinting over to cover first base, as well.
After losing David Peterson to an oblique injury and Joey Lucchesi to Tommy John surgery, rookie Tylor Megill has stepped up to claim a spot in the rotation (3.50 ERA in four starts). However, the Mets have been lacking a fifth starter and the return of Carrasco will provide much-needed stability in the backend of the rotation.
Although he surrendered a solo home run to his former Double-A battery mate with the Mariners in Mike Zunino, Mets pitcher Taijuan Walker was still able to enjoy his first All-Star Game on Tuesday night.
Walker handled the sixth inning, recording a strikeout of Whit Merrifield, while inducing a fly out from Jose Ramirez. But he could not get out of the inning unscathed, as he allowed the homer to his former teammate in Zunino.
Regardless, it was a special experience that Walker will never forget.
“It means a lot, honestly,” Walker said. “My ninth year, which is crazy. I feel like I’ve been around forever. But it’s just special for me.”
Despite only receiving one offer in free agency via the Mets, Walker is glad to be where he is, and has certainly rewarded the Amazins' for taking a chance on him.
“I feel like I’m in the right spot,” he said. “I like the Mets. The Mets were actually one of my top five teams that I wanted to go to in the offseason. So for them to give me a chance and believe in me, I’m glad I can give back to them and show that they made a good choice.”
In 15 starts, Walker has produced a 7-3 record and 2.50 ERA, while striking out 89 batters in 90 innings. The Mets will be counting on him to continue pitching like a co-ace in the second half of the season.