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Carlos Carrasco planning to be ready for Mets when season starts

Mets pitcher Carlos Carrasco during a spring training

Mets pitcher Carlos Carrasco during a spring training workout on Feb. 26 in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Carlos Carrasco says there is no doubt in his mind that he will be ready for the opening of the season.

"Oh, yes," he said before the Mets beat the Cardinals, 7-5, at Clover Park on Sunday. "I will be ready. Yes."

The Mets righthander, who hasn’t thrown an inning in spring training and was shut down a week ago because of elbow soreness, said he felt "pretty good" after playing catch from 75 feet Sunday.

Carrasco, 33, could be slotted at the back of the Mets’ opening-week rotation.

With seven games in the first eight days of the season, starting with the April 1 opener, the team will need five starters.

Carrasco plans to be one of them.

"I know what I need to do," he said. "And I just take it from there."

Manager Luis Rojas, while saying he appreciates Carrasco’s optimism, also said he is taking it day by day.

The Mets would prefer for Carrasco not to rush back to make the Opening Day roster.

"I am staying in range, but I have got to respect a guy like Carlos who knows his body very well," Rojas said. "He’s an experienced pitcher. Let’s see this unfold now throughout this week and then we can see if he’s going to be ready."

Carrasco already was behind the other pitchers in camp because he reported late for extra precautionary medical testing after being treated for leukemia in 2019.

David Peterson, a candidate for the No. 5 starter’s job (or No. 4 if Carrasco starts the season on the injured list) allowed three runs in four innings Sunday and has a 4.50 ERA in two starts.

The lefthander gave up five hits and walked two in the first three innings before ending with a 1-2-3 fourth.

Asked if he thought he has shown the Mets enough in spring training to earn a rotation spot, Peterson said: "I think I started doing that last year. I feel like I’m in a good position, but there’s definitely some things to work on before we get out of spring."

Extra bases

Michael Conforto, who is batting .333, went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and Pete Alonso had a two-run single for the Mets. Alonso is batting .333 with a 1.223 OPS. Brandon Nimmo had a hit and a walk and scored twice. Nimmo is batting .450 with a .542 on-base percentage . . . Taijuan Walker threw three innings (59 pitches) in a "B" game. Tomas Nido, who had been out since fouling a ball off his foot Thursday, was Walker’s catcher . . . The Mets will have a total day off Monday, with the camp closed to players and staff. Jacob deGrom is scheduled to start against the Astros on Tuesday.

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