Early last year, the New York Mets traded for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco with the then-Cleveland Indians.
They had to surrender two big-league ready prospects in Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario, and two additional well-regarded prospects.
Lindor struggled with performance and Carrasco with injuries: he suffered a torn hamstring in spring training, one that severely limited him last year.
The injury took months off his season, and when he returned, he was a shell of himself, pitching to a 6.04 ERA in 53.2 frames.
He looked washed up, as a backend starer at best, but it was because he was hurt.
Now, fully healthy and with a normal offseason and spring training, the veteran right-hander is looking as good as ever.
Carrasco Is Pitching Like An Ace
In his first three starts of the 2022 season, Carrasco has pitched 18.1 innings, with a 1-0 record, a 1.47 ERA, 20 strikeouts, and an absolutely brilliant 0.60 WHIP.
“When the Mets got Carlos Carrasco last year, everyone thought they were trading for a number 2/3 starter. It turns out, maybe they were. A healthy Carrasco, looking like this, is as important an early story as there is for these Mets,” insider Steve Gelbs tweeted.
When the Mets got Carlos Carrasco last year, everyone thought they were trading for a number 2/3 starter. It turns out, maybe they were.
A healthy Carrasco, looking like this, is as important an early story as there is for these Mets.
— Steve Gelbs (@SteveGelbs) April 21, 2022
If fans thought they were trading for a minor leaguer, or a fifth starter at best last year, then they must be happy to know they were wrong.
Carrasco could never get into a rhythm, perhaps bothered by the troublesome hamstring.
But now, he is pitching like an ace.
He is probably not one, though, but he sure is a solid, reliable number two if his injury issues are behind him.
The best part of all is that the Mets do not need him to be an ace: they have Max Scherzer, and will eventually get back Jacob deGrom.
They just need Carrasco to take the ball every five days and do what he does best: fool major league hitters and put his team in a position to compete.