Mets send struggling Peterson back to minors; Carrasco to return Friday

·4-min read

NEW YORK (AP) — Struggling starter David Peterson was optioned back to Triple-A Syracuse by the New York Mets on Tuesday before their series opener against the major league-leading Tampa Bay Rays.

New York selected left-hander Josh Walker from Syracuse to add a fresh arm in the bullpen. Carlos Carrasco is penciled in to return from the injured list Friday night against Cleveland, reclaiming the spot Peterson has been filling ineffectively in a depleted rotation.

Peterson is 1-6 with an 8.08 ERA in eight big league starts this season, a huge disappointment for a scuffling Mets team that was counting on him to provide dependable depth.

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A first-round draft pick in 2017, the 27-year-old lefty produced solid seasons on the mound for New York in 2020 and 2022 sandwiched around a poor 2021. He entered this year with a 15-13 record in 53 big league games (43 starts).

“It's like I told him today, it's good that I've seen him really good. Because if it was just on this year ...," Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “It's got to be really frustrating for him.”

Peterson gave up six runs and nine hits over five innings Monday in a 10-3 loss at last-place Washington. He has allowed a National League-high 35 earned runs in only 39 innings.

Injuries to Carrasco, José Quintana, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer pressed Peterson into needed service early this season, but he's been unable to deliver. His struggles had contributed to a 5.33 ERA for Mets starters, fifth-highest in the majors. The rotation ranked 29th among 30 teams in walks (101), 27th in innings (202 2/3) and 26th in home runs allowed (37).

Peterson was optioned to Syracuse on April 29 and recalled on May 9. Now he's headed back down again to start Sunday in Triple-A.

“I'm hoping Sunday's the start of him presenting a better option, because we're going to need him. And if he doesn't get it going down there, we'll have to go another direction, right?" Showalter said.

"So, I'm hoping. You know, you try to be frank with him. He knows. He knows it's not good enough. Especially with what he's capable of. It's frustrating for everybody. But, we'd like to see him get it going. Have it show up down there, show that he's capable of pitching better than the Triple-A level. That's part of it, too.”

Carrasco (0-2, 8.56 ERA) has been sidelined since April 16 with right elbow inflammation and a bone spur. He pitched four shutout innings Sunday in a rehab start for Double-A Binghamton.

Quintana has been out all season following surgery for a left rib fracture. He has an important CT scan scheduled for Friday.

“If that shows what we're hoping, then he's off and running,” Showalter said. “He feels great. ... He's ahead of normal spring training, with all the things he's done throwing. He's been throwing the baseball over 100-plus feet. So once we get the clearance, it'll start pretty quickly.”

Quintana was not expected back until at least July, but Showalter said it's possible he could return a little sooner than anticipated.

The 28-year-old Walker was 2-0 with a 0.68 ERA in nine relief outings at Syracuse this season. He racked up 18 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings.

Walker, 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds, went to high school about 75 miles northwest of Citi Field and was chosen by the Mets in the 37th round of the 2017 amateur draft out of Division II University of New Haven.

“He obviously looks the part,” Showalter said before the game. “You think about all the things he's tried to get through to get to this level and to have it happen today ... it's a big moment for him to be here. I hope I can get him in there.”

Hours later, Walker made his major league debut. He pitched a scoreless seventh inning, working around two walks, as the Mets lost 8-5 to the Rays.

“It was pretty surreal,” said Walker, who had his family and fiancée in attendance. “It was just unreal, being out there. I couldn't feel my body that entire inning. It was crazy. But yeah, just a lot of gratitude, and trying to take it all in.”

NOTES: Mets catcher Omar Narváez (left calf strain) is on target to begin playing minor league rehab games at the end of next week. ... RHP Jimmy Yacabonis (strained left quadriceps) was sent on a rehab assignment with Double-A Binghamton.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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