SAN DIEGO — Carlos Carrasco has advanced to throwing bullpen sessions, but his eventual return to the Mets remains just that: eventual.
He stayed in New York for the Mets’ three-city road trip and is focusing on strengthening the torn right hamstring that has kept him out since mid-March. Because he already has suffered one setback — last month, right before he was supposed to go on a rehabilitation assignment — the Mets want to be extra careful.
"We want to get him to the point where there’s no setback, nothing that can get in his way," manager Luis Rojas said. "We’ve checked out his hamstring and there’s still some strengthening to do so there’s nothing that stops him or holds him or creates another injury down the road."
Thus, there is "no timeline" for Carrasco to begin pitching in minor-league games, Rojas said.
Acting general manager Zack Scott said previously that Carrasco will be out until at least late June.
Jeff McNeil is ahead of Michael Conforto in their comebacks from hamstrings strains. Rojas said McNeil would go on a rehab assignment first, though he didn’t know when that might happen.
McNeil is "doing everything," including running, in New York, according to Rojas.
Conforto is "doing almost everything," including hitting on the field, in San Diego, Rojas added.
Scott had pegged late June for likely returns for both players.
Jacob deGrom threw 63 pitches and 70 pitches in his first two starts since returning from the injured list, a purposefully slow buildup. But deGrom said this week that he expects to "take the reins off" this time.
Will there be any restrictions when he faces the Padres on Saturday?
"Last game and the game before, we did talk about a plan of innings and pitches," Rojas said. "This outing, we’re not talking about a plan of innings and pitches.
"We’re just going to see the game and see how the innings go, the stress level, pitch count, all that [factors in] for us to make a decision to remove him — if we have to remove him. I hope he starts the game and finishes."
DeGrom has reached triple-digit pitches once this season, 109 in a shutout against the Nationals on April 23.
Glen Cove native and Chaminade High School alum Joe Suozzi made his professional debut this week, going 3-for-8 with a run scored in his first two games with Low-A St. Lucie.
Suozzi, an outfielder listed at 6-3 and 215 pounds, signed with the Mets as an undrafted free agent last June. He is the son of Tom Suozzi, a Democrat congressman who represents parts of Long Island and Queens.
Player to be named now
The Mets sent outfield prospect Freddy Valdez to the Red Sox on Friday to complete their February trade for Khalil Lee (who came from the Royals in a three-team deal).
Valdez signed for a $1.45-million bonus in 2018. Still just 19 years old, he is listed at 6-3 and 212 pounds. MLB Pipeline ranked him as the No. 14 prospect for the Mets, which named Valdez their Dominican Summer League hitter of the year in 2019.
Dominic Smith was missing from the lineup because he had a "rest day," Rojas said . . . Jonathan Villar (tight right hamstring) was out of the lineup for a second day in a row, but Rojas said he was available off the bench . . . Billy McKinney said Padres fans were razzing him Thursday night because of an incredible catch he made against San Diego for the Brewers in April. He laid out in leftfield to save two runs. "That was a fun one here," he said. "I tried to tune [the jeering] out as much as I can."