New York Mets pitcher D.J. Carrasco throws during the third...

New York Mets pitcher D.J. Carrasco throws during the third inning of a spring training baseball game against the Atlanta Braves. (March 18, 2011) Credit: AP

D.J. Carrasco pored over pages of hitter charts as he sat in front of his locker, unaware that he had been named the spot starter for Friday's series opener against Atlanta.

About an hour earlier, Mets manager Terry Collins said he planned to use the righthanded reliever as a replacement for Chris Young, whose start was pushed back to Sunday because of biceps tendinitis. But when approached by Newsday Wednesday afternoon, Carrasco was caught off-guard by the news.

"I haven't heard anything yet," Carrasco said. "Obviously the more time you have the better it is, but being a spot starter, time's not a luxury you have. They need some innings and you've got to throw some games."

Tuesday's rainout resulted in six games in five days for the Mets, who will play a doubleheader Thursday against Colorado. Barring any overuse of the bullpen, Collins hopes Carrasco can throw 75-80 pitches, or five innings.

"If I'm out there throwing 10- or 12-pitch innings, I could probably go quite a while," Carrasco said. "But if I'm struggling, then it's going to be an issue. I'm just going to give it my all. Hopefully, [Collins] sees if I'm keeping the ball down and I'm at 80 pitches, let me go 90 to 100, whatever it may be."

In preparation for the start, Carrasco pitched a scoreless ninth inning last night. He threw 19 pitches, walked one (Troy Tulowitzki) and gave up one hit.

Extra bases

Reliever Blaine Boyer cleared waivers and elected free agency rather than report to Triple-A Buffalo. Boyer is 0-2 with a 10.80 ERA in five appearances . . . Former Met Carlos Delgado announced his retirement Wednesday.