Mar 20, 2021

Carlos Carrasco- Mets Starting Pitcher (2021)

 Carlos Luis Carrasco was born March 21st, 1987 in Venezuela. Hi nicknamed "Cookie". The six foot four, right hander was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2003, as an undrafted free agent. He spent his first six seasons in the minors, pitching in four Future's Games. 

Trivia: He says he ate nothing but Domono's Pizza in his first three months in the United States, because it was the only thing he knew how to order. He didn't speak any English at the time & hardly spole to his team mates or did anything outside of baseball activities. 

In 2009, he was ranked as the best prospect in the Phillie organization. That year he was traded along with Jason Donald, Lou Marson & Jason Kemp to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Cliff Lee & Ben Francisco. After the trade he learned how to speak English.

He would make his MLB debut in 2009, pitching five games going 0-4. He returned for ten games
in 2010 earning his first two career wins. By 2011 he was part of the Indians staff going 8-9 with a 4.62 ERA in 21 games until August 3rd. He went on the DL, having to undergo Tommy John surgery & then missed all of 2012.


In 2015 he became an everyday starter. His year started out with bad luck, as he was hit in the face with a  line drive & had to be carted off the field on a motor stretcher. But he returned & had a solid season, tying with Danny Salazar for the team lead in victories (14). He struck out 216 batters (5th best in the AL) & posted a 3.63 ERA in 30 starts. 

On July 1st he had a no hitter going into the 9th inning, but surrendered a two out, two strike single to Joey Butler of the Tampa Rays. 

In the Indians AL Pennant year of 2016, he made 25 starts going 11-8 with a 3.32 ERA, but made
two trips to the DL & missed the entire post season. 

Trivia: In 2016 he became a US citizen.

He returned in 2017 to lead the AL in wins (18) going 18-6. That year he & team mate Corey Kluber tied for most wins on the staff & in the AL. At the end of April, he pitched into the 8th inning in two starts, including shutting out the White Sox for his second win of the year. 

He went 3-0 in May & had a personal five game win streak from June 11th to July 7th. In that game, he struck out 11 Tigers in an 11-2 win. 

In his next start he struck out ten batters, but took a loss to Oakland. 

On the season, he had five games where he struck out ten or more batters, with a season high 14 Ks on September 28th. He shut out the Twins for 8.1 innings, in that outing, which was his last start of the season. 

Back on August 11th, he shut out the Rays in Tampa, allowing just two hits over eight innings. On September 6th, he tossed a complete game win in Chicago, beating the White Sox, while allowing just one run.

In 2017, Carrasco had another year of 200 plus strike outs (226- 5th most in the AL) in 183
innings making 30 starts, posting a career best 3.29 ERA (6th best in the AL). He finished 4th in the Cy Young voting.

Post Season: He made one start earning a no decision in the ALDS.

In 2018, he pitched a complete game in his third start of the year. He allowed just three hits & one run in a 5-1 win over the Detroit Tigers. On May 9th, he pitched his second complete game, striking out 14 batters, allowing just two runs to the Brewers in Milwaukee. 

In mid June, he had back to back games, where he struck out ten or more batters, both resulting in wins.  He would have seven games where he struck out ten or more batters on the year. 

He matched his season high 14, on September 7th in Toronto, in a no decision in the Blue Jays. In a stretch from late August to early September, he had three games, in five, where he had ten or more Ks.

Carrasco, won 17 games (17-10) 4th most wins in the league, in 2018, posting another solid ERA 3.38 ERA. He led the league with two complete games &had another 200 plus K season with a career high, 231(4th in the AL).

Post Season: In the 2018 ALDS he suffered a loss to the Houston Astros in Game #2, giving up two
runs  in 5.1 innings.

The next year, he was suffering with issues in his blood & got shut down by the end of May. After multiple tests, he was diagnosed with leukemia. Carrasco has had tremendous support from his wife Kerry & he recently reiterated, that she got him through the hard times.

 "I have kids, I have a wife, I have my parents, friends. I don't want them to see me sad". His message to others, is you must have Faith.

As for pitching, he missed three months of action & returned on September 1st to pitch an inning of relief. He finished out the year in the bullpen, recording a save on September 20th, against the Phillies. It was his second career save. On 2019 he went, 6-9 overall with a 5.29 ERA.

In the 2020 Covid19 shortened season, he pitched 12 games going 3-4 with a 2.91 ERA. In his first start, he struck out ten & beat the Kansas City Royals 9-2. In his last win of the season, he tipped the 10 Ks by striking out his season high 11, while pitching a one hit shut in seven innings of work to the Detroit Tigers.

Post Season: In the AL Wild Card game he allowed four earned runs in three innings pitched, in the Cleveland loss.

On January 7th, 2021 he & Francisco Lindor
came to the Mets, in a huge trade. The Mets gave up Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenz, Josh Wolf & Isiah Greene in exchange.

Quotes- Carlos Carrasco: "I am so happy right now. I wish Spring Training started next week, to meet everyone & start wearing the jersey." " The potential is to make it to the playoffs & the World Series too. They have a really good team. We have a really good team.

When the trade was made, he got a call from his friend Lindor saying "hey Cookie, we're leaving together".

 He joins a staff led by Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Steven Matz & Seth Lugo.

Family: He & his wife Karelis (also known as Kerry) have five children. He, his wife & daughter were heavily involved in charity works in Cleveland, as well as round the world, getting him a nomination for the Roberto Clemente Award. He plans to do the same in New York. 

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