PORT ST. LUCIE – Carlos Carrasco turned 35 on Monday, but his birthday present came early in the form of a ‘new elbow’.
After serving the last seven seasons with a bone fragment in his elbow, the Mets right-hander decided he couldn’t hold back any longer and underwent surgery to remove it in October. A little over a week into spring training, he’s already feeling the difference.
“It feels like a new elbow for me,” Carrasco said Monday after a workout at Clover Park. “It doesn’t bother me, I can finish all my pitches, everything. So it’s very different.”
With a healthy arm, Carrasco said his split changeup – which had lost some of its effectiveness in recent seasons – is “much better,” as is his curveball, as his arm movement is no longer restricted to protect his elbow.
Equally encouraging for Carrasco is that he doesn’t think the combination of surgery and reduced spring training will threaten his availability for the start of the regular season. He started throwing again three to four weeks after the surgery and had moved up to live batting practice by the end of the lockdown, putting him in a good place when he arrived at Mets camp.
Carrasco is expected to make his Grapefruit League debut Thursday against the Marlins, piggybacking on Chris Bassitt in the same week that his rotation colleagues Max Scherzer (Monday) and Jacob deGrom (Tuesday) made their first spring show starts.
“I’m ready for it,” Carrasco said.
Carrasco’s first season with the Mets was derailed when he tore a hamstring in spring practice, delaying his debut until late July and limiting him to just 12 starts and a 6.04 ERA. But he believes a clean bill of health and a little more comfort over a year away from trading with the Mets will help him return to being the pitcher he was most of his time in Cleveland.
“It was a lot last year,” said Carrasco. “When I was traded to a new team, new teammates, I was under a little bit of pressure because I was traded, so I had to serve well and all that stuff. Everything happened for the first time, my Achilles tendon. Then I missed three months of the season. I got a little retarded learning about the league and all that stuff and building my arm.
“But last year I was finally able to pitch – not very well but I learned a lot from last year. Bring it this year and I can’t wait for the games to start.
https://nypost.com/2022/03/21/mets-carlos-carrasco-feeling-big-difference-after-elbow-surgery/ Mets’ Carlos Carrasco feels very comfortable after elbow surgery