Mets pitcher Carlos Carrasco during a spring training game against...

Mets pitcher Carlos Carrasco during a spring training game against Atlanta on March 2 at Clover Park in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

WASHINGTON — So effective and efficient was Carlos Carrasco in his minor-league game Sunday, he went to the bullpen afterward for extra work.

Carrasco tossed 52 pitches in four scoreless innings in a rehabilitation start for Double-A Binghamton. Unsatisfied with that pitch count — especially on the brink of a return to the majors — he threw an extra simulated inning to up his total to about 65 pitches, manager Buck Showalter relayed.

The Mets expect Carrasco, who has been out for a month because of a bone spur in his right elbow, to return to the active roster this week. Showalter said he’ll slot into the rotation Friday or Saturday.

Whichever day they decide, that will be the first start of Carrasco’s career against Cleveland, the team for which he played from 2009-20. The Mets acquired him in the January 2021 trade that also brought Francisco Lindor to Queens.

Carrasco had an 8.56 ERA, 1.61 WHIP and a big drop in velocity in three starts in April before going on the injured list. Team decision-makers seem to believe Carrasco is better after a cortisone shot and rest. He totaled seven scoreless innings in two minor-league outings.

“I try to keep thinking there are some potential good things down the road with him,” Showalter said.

Perez produces

Michael Perez, the light-hitting fourth-string catcher called up last week because Tomas Nido went on the IL, went 4-for-4 in the Mets’ 3-2 loss to the Nationals. “I think everybody is happy for him,” Showalter said. “That’s a good start with him at a time of need.”


Personnel news

Highlighting a series of roster moves was a quirky one: Lefthander Joey Lucchesi was demoted to Triple-A Syracuse before the game he started had been completed.

He pitched against the Nationals (two innings, one run) in the game that was suspended Saturday. Before it resumed Sunday, the Mets sent him down to make room for another pitcher.

Lucchesi had a 4.43 ERA in five starts, including seven shutout innings in San Francisco in April, his return to the majors after nearly two years away. The rest didn’t go as well.

“I told him, go down and continue to present yourself as an option for us to come back,” Showalter said. “He controls it. I hate to say it, but chances are we’re going to need him again.”

The Mets activated lefty Brooks Raley (left elbow inflammation) from the IL. They also added righty Dennis Santana to the 40-man and active rosters, used him for an inning in the first game against the Nationals and designated him for assignment before the second game.

Righthander Seth Elledge was designated for assignment.

Extra bases

Dominic Leone ended up fine after Showalter said he experienced elbow discomfort while warming up Friday. Leone said it actually was a pinched nerve in his right shoulder/neck that is an issue once in a while .  .  . This was the second Mother’s Day in a row that the Mets played a doubleheader. They did so in Philadelphia last year.

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