Carlos Carrasco Right Hamstring Strain: MLB Injury Watch & Return Timetable for Mets SP

Posted: Mar 22, 2021Last updated: Mar 22, 2021

Kyle Trimble is a licensed physical therapist here to provide MLB injury analysis on Carlos Carrasco’s right hamstring strain.

Two weeks out from Opening Day, new Mets starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco suffered a right hamstring strain during sprinting drills on March 18th. He has since been classified as a high-grade tear with an initial timeline of 6-to-8 weeks. However, other reports indicated that it was a Grade 1 tear, leading to some questions on the true timeline to return.

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Carlos Carrasco Right Hamstring Strain: MLB Injury Watch & Return Timetable for Mets SP

The hamstring assists in extending the thigh during walking and running, along with bending the knee. It also helps load the leg during the stance phase to have a rigid point for push-off. A hamstring strain occurs when the hamstrings are either eccentrically loaded when the foot strikes the ground during running or push off of the leg to advance the leg forward or suddenly overstretched. 

Carlos Carrasco Right Hamstring Strain: MLB Injury Watch & Return Timetable for Mets SP. Here's a diagram of the varying severities of hamstring strains.

Hamstring complex and severity of strains. (Image: Stalbans Therapy Clinic)

There are varying grades of hamstring strain severity. Grade 1 is typically mild with a few fibers torn and a return to sport timeline of 1-3 weeks. Grade 2 is more severe with half of the muscle fibers torn with a timeline of 4-8 weeks. Grade 3 is typically a full tear of the muscle, possibly resulting in surgical repair.

As Carrasco is a right-handed pitcher, he requires the full use of his right leg; that is where the energy is stored to push off the mound when starting his delivery. Without a strong push-off, Carrasco’s entire delivery would be ineffective. Having to bat in the NL would also be difficult in that there would not be an ability to get the explosive first step out of the batter’s box or sprint between bases.

Carlos Carrasco Right Hamstring Strain: MLB Injury Watch & Return Timetable for Mets SP

Phases of throwing. Credit:

If this injury is indeed high-grade, which I believe it is, closer to a Grade 2, then I don’t expect that Carrasco will be back before May at the earliest. It’s possible that he doesn’t get into the starting lineup until closer to June as he will need to build his workload back up. He was also dealing with elbow soreness that caused him to miss time just prior to this latest injury. 

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As Carrasco is older and the injured leg is his plant leg, I expect a more conservative approach in his recovery timeline to avoid re-injury. For the rest of the Mets rotation, they better rely on strong run support, otherwise, the loss of an ace in Carrasco could be magnified.

If the Mets start strong and keep pace with the Atlanta Braves, then the return of Carrasco could help push them into the pole position within the NL East.

Kyle Trimble is a licensed physical therapist who also works as an injury spotter for Dr. David Chao. Kyle has extensive experience in outpatient orthopedics, skilled nursing, acute care hospital, and home care. He’s also a member of Bills Mafia and runs the website Banged Up Bills.

Disclaimer from Kyle: My opinions are my own. Any thoughts I have on the injuries are based on media reports, my knowledge of the injury, and speculation based on the information currently available including video and print media. This information is subject to change based on the information released by the team.

After reading Kyle’s update on Carlos Carrasco’s right hamstring strain, get more MLB betting and fantasy baseball tips


Kyle Trimble

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