Mets Game Preview: (6/9/21) @ Baltimore Orioles (22-38)

After an ugly blowout loss on Tuesday, the New York Mets look to rebound against the Baltimore Orioles in the final game of their short two-game series. Rain could creep into Baltimore later in the game, but it could hold off until its conclusion. The first pitch is once again scheduled for another 7:05 p.m. ET start from Oriole Park.

Pete Alonso has been scorching hot since he returned from the injured list. He is 10-for-30 (.333) with three homers, including two last night. Mason Williams returns to center field and has struggled after earning a call-up from Syracuse. After hitting .373 in Triple-A, he is 3-for-16 over eight games in the big leagues.

The Orioles had everything working with their offense in their ten runs, 16 hit output. Maikel Franco continued his notorious Mets killing with a double, home run, and three runs batted in. Over his career, Franco has 20 home runs against the Mets, which are his most against any team. Cedric Mullins has been an all of baseball killer this year and is the hottest hitter in the sport. He is in the middle of an eight-game hitting streak where he is 17-for-32 (.531), and nine of the hits have gone for extra bases.

Pitching Matchup

Taijuan Walker had a rare lackluster start his last time out against the San Diego Padres. Walker pitched five innings allowing seven hits, four runs (three earned), and walked four batters. His line could have been cleaner if Williams secured the Fernando Tatis Jr. home run that popped out of his glove early in the start. Walker is still sixth in all of baseball with his 2.17 ERA.

Matt Harvey gets to face his old team again and is looking to rebound from an ugly May. Over six starts, Harvey had a 9.64 ERA, allowed more runs than strikeouts, and only had one start where he pitched past the fifth inning. He started June better by holding the Minnesota Twins to one run in three innings pitched.

Matchup To Lookout For

Taijuan Walker vs. Ryan Mountcastle: 0-for-7 (.000)

Former Mets’ pitcher Matt Harvey was emotional after standing ovation at Citi Field: ‘I was holding back tears’

Wednesday marked the first time pitcher Matt Harvey pitched in front of New York Mets’ fans at Citi Field since he was traded to Cincinnati in 2018. He had ups and downs during his career in Flushing, and his fair share of incidents, too, but he was a key cog in the 2015 World Series run and fans don’t forget those things.

The Mets ended up winning the game, and Harvey wasn’t particularly sharp on the mound. But the fans cheered him before the first pitch and gave him a standing ovation. Talking to the press after the game, he thanked the fans in attendance.

“There was a lot of excitement, a lot of memories,” Harvey said, per SNY. “Obviously there’s been so many ups and downs here at this ballpark and with this organization, I really didn’t know what to expect. What the fans gave me out there was pretty incredible. I was holding back tears. I’m not going to lie about that, it was pretty hard holding them back. Reminded me of a lot of the good memories, and coming off the field with an ovation like that, it brought a lot back and it was very special to me. Something I’ll never forget.”

The fact remains that Harvey was a very important contributor for the Mets in the first half of the 2010s. Injuries have taken their toll, sure, but he is now trying to revive his career with the Baltimore Orioles and is not doing so badly.

The Mets won, but Harvey appreciated fans welcoming him back

Sure, yesterday’s performance, in which he allowed seven earned runs to the Mets in 4.1 frames, increased his ERA significantly, but he was in the high-3s before the game.

“Obviously I wish things went differently, I wish the score was flip-flopped,” Harvey said. “My job is to go out and keep runs off the board, and obviously I didn’t do that regardless of who we were playing and the situation. It was a rough one. I felt like I made some decent pitches and they were tough, they made me work, they hit the ball the other way well. They kind of went against the scouting report that I had used from the last previous games or in the last week, week and a half. They hit the ball where we weren’t and made me work.”

In 2015, Harvey was a true ace for the Mets, going 13-8 with a 2.71 ERA and 2-0 with a 3.04 in the postseason.

“Yeah it was hard, this is a very special place to me,” Harvey said. “I’d like to say I gave everything I had here. Especially in that 2015 run, it was really something special and I left it all out there for everybody, for the fans, for our teammates. That was a big year for us as a team and the city of New York. Those memories definitely came in when I got some cheers and got the standing ovation. Like I said, it was absolutely incredible.”

Mets Spoil Harvey’s Return in 7-1 Win For Seventh Straight Victory

The much-anticipated return of Matt Harvey came with plenty of love and support, but the New York Mets had a winning streak to continue. Outside of a 1-2-3 first inning, Harvey and the Baltimore Orioles could not get anything going in the Mets 7-1 victory.

The Mets fans gave Harvey the standing ovation he deserved, but the offense greeted him rudely. They tagged Harvey for seven runs and eight hits which forced Harvey out of the game in the fifth inning. Kevin Pillar opened things with a two-run triple in the second inning as he continues to fill in nicely for Brandon Nimmo. Speaking of fill-ins, Jose Peraza stepped in for Jeff McNeil and had a great game. Peraza delivered two singles, two RBIs and made a couple of tremendous defensive plays at second base. Dominic Smith‘s bat has suddenly become red hot as he went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.

Skywalker Leads The Way

Taijuan Walker continued his dominant season by throwing seven innings and keeping the Orioles to just one run. His three walks are deceiving because two came back-to-back in the second inning. Walker was a strike-throwing machine with 63 of his 97 pitches in the zone. When he gave up hard contact, he also benefitted from great defense through the diamond. Drew Smith made a powerful return to the big leagues by working an 11 pitch, 1-2-3 ninth inning, and reaching 97 mph with his fastball.

The win is the seventh straight, and they are building winning habits that were not prevalent in April. They went an incredible 7-for-10 with runners in scoring position, recorded three 2-out RBIs, and stole two bases. As the offense wakes up, they have climbed out of the cellar in MLBs offensive stats. Their average w/RISP is up to 21st, their team average is 12th, and their on-base percentage is 3rd.

The Mets get Thursday off as they head down to Tampa Bay to begin a nine-game road trip on Friday. David Peterson gets the start against Tyler Glasnow for the 7:10 p.m. ET start from Tropicana Field.

Former Mets’ pitcher Matt Harvey reportedly drawing interest from Japan in addition to South Korea

After struggling to the tune of a 7.09 ERA in 59.2 frames with the Los Angeles Angels last season, former New York Mets‘ ace Matt Harvey has struggled to find an interested team in his services for the 2020 season and beyond. Add coronavirus-related concerns and the uncertainty of the MLB season, and things are not looking good for the “Dark Knight” stateside.

Because of that, it is increasingly likely that Harvey continues his career in Asia. According to MLB Network’s Jon Herman, quoted by NJ.com, the former Mets’ hurler is drawing interest from Japanese teams in addition to the already reported intentions of South Korean teams to have his services.

A New York Post report confirmed a few days ago that “a Korean-based report by SBS that Harvey’s representatives with Scott Boras’ agency reached out to KBO teams. According to the report, there’s no match yet, but it remains a possibility. KBO rosters allow a maximum of three foreign players and only two can be pitchers.”

The Mets aren’t interested

On Monday, Boomer Esiason reported on WFAN that Harvey “has reached out to the Mets about a reunion.” Yet Anthony DiComo, MLB.com’s Mets beat writer, said that “there’s no truth to the rumor that the Mets and Matt Harvey have mutual interest in a reunion. That ship appears to have sailed.”

Harvey wants to continue pitching but he admits that those days may be over. Here is what he said recently to the New York Post:

“I have thought about it here and there. I haven’t not had a job in 10 years. It’s definitely different, but it’s exciting at the same time because I feel so good mechanically. I hope somebody gives me a shot. I feel like I have many more years in me. … I’m throwing bullpens once or twice a week. I hope I get the opportunity. I feel like I’m in high school again, where I have to showcase myself and start all over. I just want to put myself in position to be ready and if it doesn’t work out, to know I put the effort in to make a comeback.”

Harvey was a star for the New York Mets from 2012 to 2015, then injuries and some curious decisions derailed his career and relationship with the team.

New York Mets First Round Picks in the Last Ten Drafts

New Yor k Mets, Dominic Smith

The slightly modified MLB Draft takes place today as teams search for their future stars. The New York Mets’ success on their first-round picks in the past was solid. Some contributed with the Mets, and others found success across the league.

2019: Brett Baty, Third Base (12th Overall, Lake Travis High School) 

The 20-year old first-round pick had his ups and downs during his first season in professional baseball. Through 56 games, mostly at rookie ball, he slashed .234/.368/.452 with seven home runs and 33 runs batted in. Baty’s struggles at the plate were primarily due to fatigue, but his power/walk potential is very high. He already ranks as the fourth-best prospect in the Mets system, according to MLB.com.

2018: Jarred Kelenic, Outfield (6th Overall, Waukesha West High School)

Kelenic was a rising prospect in the Mets system before they dealt him in the infamous Robinson Cano/Edwin Diaz trade. During his first season with the Mets, he slashed.286/.371/.468 at only 18-years old. In 2019, he set the bar even higher, hitting .291/.364/.540 with 23 homers and 31 doubles between A, A+, and AA. Kelenic is the 11th overall prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com, and each day the trade stings the Mets more.

2017: David Peterson, Pitcher (20th Overall, University of Oregon)

Peterson is currently the 10th ranked prospect in the Mets system. He was on track to pitch in Triple-A during the 2020 season. There were also talks of bringing him up to supplement the lack of rotation depth. With Binghamton last season, he had a 4.19 ERA in 24 starts with 122 strikeouts. At his highest potential, Peterson projects to pitch in the middle of the rotation.

2016: Justin Dunn, Pitcher (19th Overall, Boston College)

Dunn was also part of the Kelenic trade to the Seattle Mariners. After two good seasons in Double-A during 2018 and 2019, he earned an opportunity to pitch for the M’s. They used him as an opener during his four 2019 outings. After allowing two runs in his debut, his next three opens were all scoreless.

2016: Anthony Kay, Pitcher (31st Overall, University of Connecticut)

Kay underwent Tommy John Surgery before he ever threw a pitch for the Mets. He understandably did not pitch to his full potential during his first season in professional ball. Kay had a 4.26 ERA over 122.2 innings but averaged about one strikeout per inning. During a stellar 2019 season in Double-A, the Mets moved him to Triple-A, where he struggled. They traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays for Marcus Stroman, and he made his MLB debut in 2019. Kay had a 5.79 ERA over three outings but should be an excellent addition to a young Blue Jays roster.

2015: No First Round Pick

2014: Michael Conforto, Outfielder (10th Overall, Oregon State University)

The Mets struck gold with Conforto. It only took 133 games for him to make it during the big leagues. He helped the Mets make it to the World Series in 2015 and became the fifth rookie to homer twice in a World Series game. After a rough 2016, which involved his demotion, he has produced in the last three seasons, including an All-Star selection. Conforto is hitting .257/.363/.492, averaging 29 homers, 81 RBIs and plays all three outfield positions.

2013: Dominic Smith, First Base (11th Overall, Serra High School)

Smith has overcome plenty to become a contributing member of the Mets. He was on track for stardom after hitting over .300 throughout the minors. Dealing with sleep apnea, injuries, and weight issues caused a stunt to his journey of becoming a solid big leaguer. In 2019, all three points were no longer problems, and it allowed him to have his best season so far. His playing time tougher to find due to Pete Alonso at first base, but Smith showed the versatility to play the outfield as well.

2012: Gavin Cecchini, Shortstop (12th Overall, Barbe High School)

2012 was the only year where the Mets missed on a quality big league prospect. They had two first-round picks, and Cecchini was the first one. Known for his bat more than glove, it took a couple of years for him to figure things out at the plate. Two straight seasons above .300 in the minors earned him a 2016 promotion. Cecchini went 2-for-6 with a double and waited some time to return in 2017. He struggled with the bat, only hitting .208 but off Clayton Kershaw for the only one of his career. Cecchini remained stranded in the minors for the last two seasons and signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks before spring training. Unfortunately, he was released in May as teams across baseball were cutting players to save money.

2012: Kevin Plawecki, Catcher (35th Overall, Purdue University)

The combination of Plawecki and Travis d’Arnaud was supposed to carry the Mets catching corps through the next decade. Neither of them hit successfully at the big league level. Plawecki only hit .218 with a .330 slugging percentage with the Mets. He was also known for his abundance of groundouts to the left side of the infield. The Mets traded him before 2019 for Sam Haggerty and Walker Lockett.

2011: Brandon Nimmo, Outfielder (13th Overall, Cheyenne East High School)

The Mets took a risk on the Wyoming native, but it has paid off so far. The Plawecki/d’Arnaud combination is what Nimmo/Conforto became. Nimmo’s grit and grind make him a fan favorite with the Mets. He broke out during 2018 when he received everyday action for the first time. Nimmo’s propensity for getting on base led to his career .254/.387/.440 and is a very underrated player.

2011: Michael Fulmer, Pitcher (44th Overall, Deer Creek High School)

Fulmer was another pitcher who never saw time with the Mets. They dealt him in the Yoenis Cespedes trade during the 2015 playoff run. Fulmer ended up winning the rookie of the year award and becoming an All-Star during his first two seasons with the Detroit Tigers. His disappointing 2020 ended early when he learned that he needed season-ending Tommy John Surgery.

2010: Matt Harvey, Pitcher (7th Overall, University of North Carolina) 

The Matt Harvey story is one that draws the same intrigue as the one of Dwight Gooden. A fantastic young arm, destined to be the next Tom Seaver but ran into an obstacle they could not overcome. Harvey had the excellent rookie campaign, then the 2013 All-Star Game start with a 2.27 ERA, which succame to the dreaded Tommy John Surgery. An excellent 2015 season led to a rough 2016, which led to Thoracic-Outlet Surgery. Harvey never returned anywhere near his Cy Young quality form and has a 5.89 ERA over the last three seasons.

New York Mets: Could Matt Harvey play in the KBO league?

Chris Flexen and Drew Gagnon, two former pitchers in the New York Mets organization are currently excelling in South Korea’s baseball circuit, the KBO. Could a third former Met follow the same path? Matt Harvey, who fell out of favor not only with the team but also with MLB clubs, would be interested in pitching in Asia.

According to Jason Lee, Harvey, a former MLB All-Star, is apparently interested in playing in the KBO. The New York Post, through its reporter Joel Sherman, confirmed the report as being true.

Sherman said that KBO clubs have been talking to Harvey’s agents. The former Mets’ ace, who was a star from 2012 to 2015, has been staying in shape by throwing bullpen sessions regularly.

The former Mets’ ace wants to keep pitching

Harvey had expressed interested in keep pitching in the MLB, but after ending his time with the Angels in 2019, he hasn’t been able to entice clubs in America. That’s why pitching in Korea would be an option he should consider.
Harvey recently talked about his next options, but at the time, he didn’t mention Korea. He tried out for the Toronto Blue Jays in the offseason, but didn’t make a good enough impression.

“I hope somebody gives me a shot,” Harvey told Dan Martin of the New York Post. “I feel like I have many more years in me.”

The New York Mets made a serious postseason run that ended in the World Series. That year, Harvey returned from Tommy John surgery and he surpassed his innings limit in order to help the team compete. After that year, injuries and ineffectiveness have severely affected his career.

The most problematic ailment, so far, for Harvey’s career has been thoracic outlet syndrome. He had failed stints with the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Angels prior to his tryout with the Jays.

Former New York Mets’ star Matt Harvey claims he’s matured and wants another chance

Matt Harvey, the man that New York Mets‘ fans enjoyed on a stellar performance level from 2012 to 2015, fell out of favor with the team and continued his career elsewhere without much success. Now a free agent, he is trying to find a team that gives him an opportunity to start all over again, but hasn’t been able to secure a deal.

When the coronavirus pandemic forced MLB to halt its season for the foreseeable future, the former Mets’ star went to the East Coast. However, he didn’t leave a spring training complex, but instead, he left Scott Boras’ training facility in California.

Harvey is looking for a job in professional baseball, but it has been an uphill battle. His last successful season was 2015, when he went 13-8 with a 2.71 ERA in a career-high 189.1 frames with the New York Mets.

He worked out for the Toronto Blue Jays in February, but left without a contract. Finding a team is even harder now with the COVID-19 crisis in the United States.

The good thing is that he is currently free of any injuries and he is still 31 years old. While not particularly young, he is still in what’s supposed to be the prime of a player, maybe in the end of it, but still prime.

The Mets want no part of him, but Harvey is working to return to baseball

The former Mets’ “Dark Knight” knows, however, that another opportunity may not come. He told the New York Post: “I have thought about it here and there. I haven’t not had a job in 10 years. It’s definitely different, but it’s exciting at the same time because I feel so good mechanically.

“I hope somebody gives me a shot. I feel like I have many more years in me.”

For what it’s worth, the New York Mets recently said that they haven’t considered giving Harvey another chance. After all, he and his agent Boras had a public battle with the front office about innings limit in 2015. Harvey needed thoracic outlet syndrome surgery the next year and his performance dipped considerably.

Further disciplinary incidents led to an ugly breakup with the Mets. Last season, he had a 7.09 ERA with the Los Angeles Angels. The Oakland A’s scooped him but he’s not tied with the organization anymore. He’s currently a free agent.

“I’m throwing bullpens once or twice a week,” Harvey said. “I hope I get the opportunity. I feel like I’m in high school again, where I have to showcase myself and start all over. I just want to put myself in position to be ready and if it doesn’t work out, to know I put the effort in to make a comeback.”

“I’ve grown up and matured on and off the field,” Harvey said. “There are a lot of things I’d do differently, but I don’t like to live with regret.”

Should The New York Mets Sign Matt Harvey?

The rise and fall of Matt Harvey’s career is similar to the likes of Dwight Gooden. After coming up as a prized prospect, groomed to be what Jacob deGrom is now, the New York Mets got rid of him unceremoniously due to injuries derailing his career.

With Noah Syndergaard out for the entire 2020 season, along with part of 2021, their pitching depth will have their work cut out. There have been no rumors surrounding the Mets bringing back the former “Dark Knight,” but he certainly has to be on their radar. After a successful rookie campaign in 2012, Harvey was on track to was Cy Young award in 2013 before he had to get Tommy John Surgery.

He missed all of 2014 but returned in 2015 to help lead the Mets to the World Series. 2016 was Harvey’s first of many rough seasons. He had a 4.86 ERA and needed thoracic outlet surgery and has never been the same since. Harvey’s ERA hovered around seven for his final two seasons as a Met and went to the Reds for Devin Mesoraco.

Minor League Contract Only

Harvey is now 30-years old and only got worse in 2019. His ERA was once again over seven and even struggled to get hitters out in the minor leagues. If the Mets gave Harvey a shot, the terms of the contract should be no higher than the veteran minimum on a minor league contract. Should he resurrect his career, it would be a fantastic comeback story, but there are at least 100 better options on the open market than Harvey.

If Harvey is willing to retool in the minors, then there is no harm in the contract. The agreement between both parties should be to find a version of Harvey than can be serviceable at the big league level. Matt Harvey of 2012-2015 is long gone, and we will never see him put up those numbers again. The organization and Harvey are familiar with each other, which should be a more comfortable place for him to pitch and work his way back.

New York Yankees: What Could Aaron Judge’s Future Entail if he Removes Rib?

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

Well, New York Yankees fans, we finally have an answer for Aaron Judge’s injury. A stress fracture in one of his ribs. And it was sustained on September 19th, 2019.

… is it just me, or are the Yankees looking REALLY bad right now? Paxton, Severino, now Judge all having lingering injuries from 2019, resulting in ALL OF THEM missing part (or all) of the 2020 season.

The worst-case scenario is Judge could surgically have that problem rib removed. But what would that do for the 27-year-olds career in professional baseball?

It Doesn’t Look Good

The most notable examples of players having ribs removed were pitchers to correct Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Former Met Matt Harvey, former New York Yankees Phill Hughes and Jaime Garcia, and Chris Carpenter are all pitchers who’ve undergone the procedure. Garcia got his rib removed in 2014, and was an above .500 pitcher. Since… not so much. Chris Carpenter’s 2012 was cut short by the procedure, and he never came back. Harvey’s decline was already evident when he underwent the procedure and was only exacerbated after the surgery in 2017. And Phil Hughes would have one more season, split between Minnesota and San Diego, after having a rib removed from TOS. No record, 62 innings pitched, and an ERA above 6.

The sobering reality about this stress fracture in Judge’s rib is that it directly affects his throwing arm. Should he get the rib surgically removed, he’d have the same road back that these pitchers had. While he wouldn’t be throwing nearly as consistent throughout a game as Harvey or Hughes, he’s known for his cannon of an arm in right field. If that is at all diminished, at just 28 years old… he’s facing very limited prospects in baseball if he wants to play past 30.

My preliminary research only shows pitchers being the most frequent baseball player having ribs removed. So how this affects his swing remains murky. Most of the velocity through the strike zone Judge generates still comes from his hips and would be aided by the wrists more so than his arm. His right arm isn’t as dominant in the swing as his left. So his future as a slugger is more cemented than no.

But, why would you play him, even as a DH, if he’s not fully physically comfortable at the plate? It’s troubling that this is befalling someone as prominent, and as likable as Judge. But… this is all we know so far.

Mets 40-Man Roster Overview: Matt Harvey

After declining to sign with the Los Angeles Angels after the 2007 MLB Draft, the Mets took him with the seventh pick in the first round of the 2010 MLB Draft. Harvey rose through the ranks of the Mets minor league system, earning a call up to the big leagues after a year and a half in the minors.

Harvey quickly excelled at the big league level finishing the 2012 season with a 2.73 ERA with 70 strikeouts in 59.1 innings. Harvey earned the “Dark Knight” nickname and was already drawing comparisons to Tom Seaver and Dwight Gooden heading into the 2013 season. Harvey delivered in a big way, he went 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA, started the All-Star Game at Citi Field, finished fourth in Cy Young voting and went pitch for pitch with Clayton Kershaw all season. Of course, his season was cut short after finding out he needed to get the dreaded Tommy John Surgery.

Harvey missed the entire 2014 season but after the last game that year he told Terry Collins “We’re going to do it next year,” and Harvey almost delivered on that promise. Harvey returned to form in 2015 by going 13-8 with a 2.71 ERA and throwing 189.1 innings one year removed from the surgery. Harvey was also dominant in leading the team to the World Series but the wear and tear in Harvey’s arm caught up to him in 2016.

Harvey was one of many injuries plagued Mets in 2016 and it resulted in a 4-10 record with a 4.86 ERA and did not pitch like the “Dark Knight” Mets fans remembered. Harvey had his season cut short again with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in his right shoulder. The team hoped a full season of rest would return him to form in 2017.

2017 was the worst year of his career with a 6.70 ERA and a staggering 21 home runs allowed in less than 100 innings. Harvey had been suspended by the team for no-showing a game at Citi Field and was suspected of partying the night before. He then missed about two and a half months after recovering from a stress fracture in his right shoulder. Upon his return in September he was absolutely awful with an 11.25 ERA in the 22.1 innings he pitched. He looked defeated, had no confidence in himself and was just wanted his hellacious year to end.

Harvey agreed to a one year, $5.63 million contract in the offseason to avoid arbitration with the Mets. He has felt stronger and looks a lot more confident in the two starts he has made this spring. He has pitched five innings, only allowing one run and showing the same sharpness his pitches had when he was on top of his game. With his performance so far this spring he figures to be in the rotation this season but with a little over three weeks left in Spring Training there is time for plenty of things to change.