Carlos Carrasco returns to his old self on the mound

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

When the New York Mets traded Carlos Carrasco and Francisco Lindor ahead of the 2021 season, it was clear that the shortstop was the centerpiece and the pitcher was the complementary player.

However, the Mets expected big things from Carrasco, a veteran starter who, up until then, had been a perfectly solid, steady arm capable of posting a steady streak of seasons with a solid ERA in the mid-3.00s.

But spring training 2021 started with an elbow scare for Carrasco, and while he was getting over it, he then started tearing his hamstrings.

This derailed his season and limited him to 53.2 innings, during which he posted a 6.04 ERA.

With a 35-year-old arm and plenty of mileage, the Mets wondered how much Carrasco could contribute to the 2022 campaign, especially now that Jacob deGrom will be out for a few months and Max Scherzer is already bumped.

Carrasco was solid ahead of his regular season debut

His latest departure, however, will help ease some anxious spirits in Queens.

“Carlos Carrasco’s final tune-up before the start of the season was solid. His last line against Astros: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 HR, 62-42,” New York Daily News reporter Deesha Thosar tweeted on Monday.

Carrasco, who could be set to go five innings by the time he takes the mound in an MLB game, pitched 4.1 innings in which he allowed two earned runs and a walk, knocking out five foes.

The “62-42” part of the tweet means he threw 62 pitches, including 42 strikes.

If the Mets can get anything close to Carrasco’s ERA (3.86) this season, they’ll be more than happy.

The rotation needs it, especially with deGrom out of action for a while.

The Mets had depth issues even before deGrom got hurt, and now they’ll need an excellent injury chance to survive the first half.

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