Mets designate reliever D.J. Carrasco for assignment

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Within minutes of D.J. Carrasco serving up a homer to Todd Frazier last night the Mets announced that they’d designated the veteran reliever for assignment, removing him from the 40-man roster.

When the Mets signed Carrasco to a two-year, $2.4 million deal last offseason it seemed like a solid pickup, as he’d posted a sub-4.00 ERA in each of the previous three seasons and sported a 4.31 career ERA.

Instead he was anything but solid, being scored upon in three of his four appearances this season after allowing 35 runs in 49 innings last season.

Or as Carrasco put it while speaking to reporters following the news: “It was pretty self-explanatory. I would have done the same thing if I was the GM.”

How Yu Darvish tipped his pitches during the World Series

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You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.

Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.

Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.

Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.