LOS ANGELES — Carlos Carrasco’s difficult first year with the Mets included a physical issue beyond the torn right hamstring that cost him much of the season.
The veteran right-hander underwent surgery this week to remove a bone fragment from his right elbow, the team announced Wednesday. The surgery was performed by Mets medical director Dr. David Altcheck at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan and the expectation is Carrasco will resume baseball activities this winter and be ready for spring training.
Carrasco, according to an industry source, knew about the bone fragment during the season, but elected to pitch through it.
The 34-year-old Carrasco sustained his torn right hamstring in spring training and didn’t make his Mets debut until July 30. He arrived in the deal last winter with Cleveland that brought Francisco Lindor to the Mets. In 12 starts this season, he went 1-5 with a 6.04 ERA and 1.435 WHIP.
Carrasco found something of a groove from late August through mid-September, after shortening his minor league rehab assignment and stretching out at the major league level, given the Mets’ need in the starting rotation. His highlights included a three-hitter over seven innings with two earned runs allowed against the Giants on Aug. 26. He also had a six-inning start against the Phillies on Sept. 18 in which he allowed two runs. But Carrasco finished the season with consecutive clunkers, against the Brewers and Braves, in which he allowed a combined 10 earned runs over nine innings.
As the Mets prepare for what should be an active offseason, Carrasco, Jacob deGrom and Taijuan Walker are the three starting pitchers under contract for 2022. In addition, Tylor Megill and David Peterson are under club control as pre-arbitration eligible players. Marcus Stroman and Noah Syndergaard are impending free agents, leaving the Mets with question marks surrounding that rotation.
Carrasco’s physical issues from this season only underscore the need for the team to invest in starting pitching. The Mets will also head to spring training with cloudiness about the status of their ace deGrom, who missed the second half of the season with what team president Sandy Alderson called a low-grade tear of the ulnar collateral ligament. DeGrom, who last pitched on July 7, resumed throwing in the final month of the season.
The high end of the free-agent starting pitching market will include names such as Max Scherzer, Robbie Ray and Kevin Gausman. The Mets will have to decide how aggressive they want to be in pursuing Stroman, who pitched to a 3.02 ERA in 33 starts for the team, helping carry the rotation with deGrom sidelined. Syndergaard, who pitched only two innings this season after his rehab from Tommy John surgery was protracted, could potentially receive the qualifying offer for next season, worth $18.4 million.