Carrasco was the logical choice, given his contract status -- he is in the final season of a two-year, $2.4 million deal -- and recent run of success. The right-hander fired two shutout innings for Triple-A Buffalo on Friday night, allowing just one run over a nine-inning rehab assignment split between Buffalo and Class A St. Lucie. He struck out five during that assignment and walked one.
Carrasco, who posted a 6.02 ERA in 42 appearances last season and spent a portion of the summer in the Minors, had been sidelined since mid-March with a sprained right ankle.
The Mets had debated eschewing Carrasco in favor of a second left-hander to complement Tim Byrdak in the bullpen. But given the lack of obvious options at Buffalo and Carrasco's strong form, they went the conventional route instead.
The only twist was that the club optioned Valdespin rather than utility man Vinny Rottino, who had seemed to be little more than a temporary roster sub. The move not only allows Valdespin to continue receiving everyday at-bats at Buffalo, but also gives the Mets a third option behind the plate. In addition to catcher, Rottino can play first base, third base and both corner outfield positions.
Valdespin was 0-for-6 in extremely limited playing time for the Mets, starting one game in left field and appearing in six others as a pinch-hitter and defensive sub. The natural shortstop was hitting .276 with two home runs at Buffalo prior to his mid-April promotion.