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MLB News: Carlos Carrasco, Nate Pearson and Framber Valdez

We are under two weeks from Opening Day, and as teams start to finalize their rosters, excitement is starting to build for baseball to return. While much of the excitement is focused on the field, there is plenty of news off the field, too. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories from the past week in MLB.

Carrasco Suffers Torn Groin

It has been a rough start for Carlos Carrasco’s tenure with the New York Mets as he has been hampered with one injury after another. He has struggled with a sore elbow through much of the early part of the camp. After being shut down to let it rest for several days, he threw a short bullpen on Thursday and seemed to come out alright.

Unfortunately, after throwing his bullpen, he hurt his hamstring while doing some conditioning drills. After having an MRI to see the extent of the damage was, it appears that he has a torn hamstring, according to Anthony DiComo of Early estimates put Carrasco being out at least six to eight weeks.

Carrasco was traded to the Mets from the Cleveland Indians, alongside shortstop Francisco Lindor, during the offseason. Last season, with Cleveland, he went 3-4 with a 2.91 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and struck out 82 in 68 innings pitched.

At this point, Carrasco will definitely be out to start the season, but New York is hoping they can get him back on the early side of the six to eight weeks. The Mets’ rotation still has Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, and Taijuan Walker, but with Carrasco out and Noah Syndergaard still recovering from last year’s Tommy John surgery, their depth will be tested early on.

Currently, the Mets are +130 to win the N.L. East and are +1000 to win the World Series.

Pearson Likely To Miss Start Of Season

Carrasco is not the only starting pitcher likely to miss Opening Day. The Toronto Blue Jays’ Nate Pearson re-aggravated his groin injury during a bullpen session, an injury that has already knocked him out for most of the spring training.

While the injury is not expected to keep him out for a substantial amount of time, this just shows how much of a nagging injury it can be.

For the Blue Jays, this is not the news that they wanted to hear. While their offense may be one of the best in all of baseball, their starting rotation is easily the weakest part of their team. Hyun-Jin Ryu is a legitimate ace, but after that is a bunch of question marks, especially if Pearson is out.

Last season, Pearson pitched in just five games, going 1-0 with a 6.00 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, and struck out 16 in 18 innings pitched. The Blue Jays were hoping that the 24-year-old could make a big leap this season but will have to wait a little longer to get him back on the mound.

Toronto is currently +400 to win the A.L. East and +2200 to win the World Series.

Could Framber Be Back Sooner Than Expected?

When Framber Valdez suffered a fractured finger on his throwing hand earlier in spring training, there was a widespread belief that he could be out for the entire season if surgery was required. On Wednesday, Jake Kaplan of The Athletic reported that a second opinion has indicated that Valdez will not need surgery and can continue his rehab.

This is certainly welcomed news for an Astros pitching staff that is already without Justin Verlander. Granted, they signed Jake Odorizzi shortly after the news of the fracture was reported, but with the strides, he made last season, a healthy Valdez would be big for Houston.

Last season, in 10 starts, Valdez went 5-3 with a 3.57 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and struck out 76 in 70.2 innings. While expectations should continue to be tempered for how quickly he can come back, Thursday’s news at least gives hope that he will pitch again this season.

Houston is currently the favorite to win the A.L. West at +130 and are +2500 to win the World Series.

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