Carlos Carrasco: Mets Starting Pitcher (2021 -2023)

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 Domino'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 spoke to his teammates or did anything outside of baseball activities. 

In 2009, he was ranked as the best prospect in the Phillies 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 & teammate 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-2017: 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-2018: 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-2020: 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 joined a staff led by Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Steven Matz & Seth Lugo.

Mets Career: Carrasco's Mets career started out with him pulling a hamstring in Spring Training. He would not see action until July 30th, when he made his first Mets start. At that time the Mets were in first place with a five-game lead.

In his first start Carlos allowed just one run, a HR to Jonathan India earning no decision in a 6-2 loss to the Reds.

In August things went bad for Mets as they blew their lead & fell out of first for good. Carrasco also took losses in his first two decisions & after giving up six runs to the Dodgers saw his ERA raise to 10.32.

On September 7th Carrasco earned his only win of the year, allowing four runs in seven innings to the Marlins in a 9-4 win. In his next start he pitched well in the subway series allowing two earned runs in five innings in the Mets 7-6 win but got no decision. He would lose his last three starts as well, finishing his first ear in New York terribly.

Carrasco was 1-5 with a 6.04 ERA, he struck out 50 batters walked 18 in 53.2 innings of work in 12 starts. In the off season that October, he had surgery to have bone fragments removed from his elbow.

2022 Mets Wild Card Season: Carrasco made his return with something to prove in 2022 on a much-improved Mets team. There were high expectations for the Mets going into the year. The staff was now improved with the addition of Max Scherzer & Chris Bassitt as well. 

Carrasco got the start in the 4th game of the season pitching in Washington D.C. He pitched 5.2 innings striking out five, allowing just one run on two hits earning a no decision in the Mets 4-2 loss.

His second start was another no decision as he pitched five scoreless against Arizona. On April 21st he earned his first Mets win, he struck out seven allowing two runs to the Giants at Citi Field in a 6-2 win.

On April 27th he had his worst outing of the season he allowed a season high eight runs in St. Louis, taking his first loss. But he came back strong from there, Carlos won his next six decisions into mid-June. He was certainly filling in the spot of Jacob deGrom who was still out with his injury.

On May 3rd Carrasco pitched eight shutout innings at Citi Field to beat the Braves in the second game of a double header. On May 21st he allowed a run at Colorado in 5.1 innings to defeat the Rockies. 

Father's First Time Seeing His Son Pitch: On May 27th Carrasco's father was in attendance at Citi Field, as it was the first time he saw his son pitch in person. It was quite a thrill for the family. although he gave up five runs to the Phillies in a six-run 5th inning, the Mets offense bailed him out with eight runs to get him his fifth win (5-1).

After two more victories he took his second loss of the year, allowing two HRs to Mike Trout in Anaheim, as the Mets lost 11-6 to the Angels. On June 17th he would earn a victory against the Marlins. On June 22nd he gave up three HRs to the eventual World Champion Astros in Houston, taking the 5-3 loss. When the Astros came to Citi Field, they beat him again collecting six runs on six hits in 4.1 innings of work. His ERA was the highest of the year at 4.85.

From July 3rd to August 9th, he would win his next five decisions. On July 3rd he held the Texas Rangers down to a run over 5.2 innings while striking out eight & walking just one. At the All Star break he was leading the staff in wins at 10-4 with a 4.27 ERA. The Mets were in first place with a 2.5 game lead.

In his first start after the break, he pitched five scoreless innings to the Padres but left the game earning no decision. On July 30th he collected his 100th career victory & win #11 of the season, shutting out the Marlins for 7.2 innings, striking out seven as well.

On August 4th he beat Klye Wright & the Braves at Citi Field in a big series to get to 12-4 & give the Mets a 4.5 game lead in first place. On August 9th he struck out nine Reds, giving up two runs over 6.2 innings to win his 13th game of the year.

On August 15th Carrasco gave up two HRs to William Contreras & Eddie Rosario in Atlanta. He left the game in the third inning with tightness on his left side. He suffered a strained oblique injury adding to the Mets pitching staff woes of injuries. Carrasco would miss two & half weeks of action, returning on September 4th.

On September 4th, he allowed five runs although only one was earned in 2.2 innings taking a loss
to the Nat's at Citi Field. On September 10th in Miami, he allowed just a run in six innings to beat the Marlins in South Florida, earning his first win in a month.

On September 15th Carlos struck out a season high 11 batters, allowing just a run & two walks in six innings, to earn his 15th win beating the Pirates at Citi Field. The Mets were holding on with a one game lead over Atlanta in the East.

After a no decision in Milwaukee, he missed a start then returned on September 27th to face the Marlins at Citi Field. Carrasco gave up a two-run HR to JJ Bleday & allowed four runs overall taking the loss, as the Mets & Braves were now tied for first place. A final weekend disaster of a sweep in Atlanta destroyed the Mets chances of winning the division. They ended up tied & would lose the Wild Card series to San Diego.

Carrasco led the team with 15 wins, tied with Chris Bassitt (15-7) with the 5th most wins in the NL. His .692 win% was tenth best in the league. He posted a 3.97 ERA. He struck out 152 batters & walked 41 in 152 innings of work, making 29 starts.

In the off season the Mets picked up his option for 2023.

Career Stats: In his 13 year career he is 104-85 with a 3.87 ERA. Carlos has 1507 strike outs 380 walks allowed 174 HRs in 1448 innings of work in 283 appearances in 236 starts.

Family: He & his wife Karelis (Kerry) have five children. They were heavily involved in charity works in Cleveland, round the world & now New York. He has been nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award. Carrasco became a US citizen in 2016.


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