Jose Reyes tears a tendon in his hamstring

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Jose Reyes can add “small tear in a hamstring tendon” to his list of health issues:

Don’t count on seeing Jose Reyes back on the field anytime soon.

Reyes, who removed himself from an extended spring-training game
Wednesday after his second at-bat with continued right calf discomfort,
had an MRI in New York Thursday that revealed what the Mets said in a
statement was a “small tear in his right hamstring tendon, a new
injury.” The statement also said, “Reyes will rest for two days and
then resume treatment.”

As James at Amazin’ Avenue notes,
the key to whether this is merely bad news or disastrous news has less
to do with how Reyes responds to treatment and rehab than it does to
how Omar Minaya responds to it:

Dear Omar,

Please do not purge the farm system for Matt Holliday or Carlos Lee.
Seeking out a blockbuster trade at this point would be silly, as most
other GMs (yes, even Ed Wade) can sense the semi-desperate
circumstances surrounding your team . . . Take a deep breath and
realize that the Mets’ core is outstanding and still relatively young.
Residing in your improving minor league system are young fireballers
Brad Holt and Jenrry Mejia, an OBP-machine of a catcher in Josh Thole,
and a 20 year-old outfield phenom named Fernando Martinez. None of them
should be wearing Oakland Athletics green and yellow uniforms at any
point this season.

I’m not the biggest Omar Minaya admirer in the world, but I have to
think that even he wouldn’t go all-in for yet another corner outfielder
type. If he does anything silly it will be to try and fix the specific
hole that Reyes’ injuries have created — leadoff hitter and/or
shortstop — and I don’t believe that there’s anyone available that
fits that description for whom even a panicky Minaya would risk
mortgaging the future.

Though I’m sure nervous Mets fans will tell me if I’m wrong about this.

Matthew Stafford audibles with “Kershaw! Kershaw!”

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Last night the Detroit Lions played the New York Giants. During the game Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford called an audible. The call itself referenced Stafford’s childhood friend and high school baseball teammate, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. From the Freep:

Matthew Stafford stepped to the line of scrimmage late in the third quarter and surveyed the Giants defense.

With five pass rushers across the front and three Giants cornerbacks showing a press-man look, Stafford looked at his two receivers to the left and invoked the name of his childhood friend, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

“Give me Kershaw here, Kershaw,” Stafford said, repeating his friend’s name two more times as he spun around at the line of scrimmage.

The audible did not result in a pick-4 to Aaron Altherr. It called for a run up the middle. And it worked nicely, gaining eight yards.

You may suggest the results of other starting pitcher-themed audibles in the comments. I’ll start: “Harvey! Harvey!” is where the QB fakes a handoff, drops back, looks deep and then his arm falls completely off. Damndest thing.

Matt Harvey has a 13.19 ERA since coming back from the disabled list

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Matt Harvey‘s season was mostly a loss due to extended time on the disabled list. He’s been given a chance, however, to end the season strong and make a case for himself in the Mets’ future plans. Unfortunately, he has been unable to make that case. He was shelled again last night, and his late season opportunity has been a disaster.

Last night Harvey gave up seven runs on 12 hits and struck out only two batters in four innings against a Marlins team that, until facing him anyway, had been reeling. It was his fourth start since going on the shelf in mid-June and in those four starts he’s allowed 21 runs, all earned, on 32 hits in 14.2 innings, for an ERA of 13.19. In that time he’s struck out only eight batters while walking seven. His average fastball velocity, while ticking up slightly in each of his past four starts, is still below 95. Back when he was an ace he was consistently above that. His command has been terrible.

Injury is clearly the culprit. He had Tommy John surgery just as he was reaching his maximum level of dominance in 2013. While he came back strong in 2015, he was used pretty heavily for a guy with a brand new ligament. Last year he was felled by thoracic outlet syndrome and this year a stress injury to his shoulder. Any one of those ailments have ended pitchers’ careers and even among those who bounce back from them, many are diminished. To go through all three and remain dominant is practically unheard of.

Yet this is where Matt Harvey is. He’s 28. He’s still arbitration eligible, for a team that is, to put it politely, sensitive to large financial outlays. While his 4-5 start opportunity to end the year may very well have been seen as a chance to shop Harvey to another team, his trade value is at an all-time low. It would not be shocking if, on the basis of his recent ineffectiveness, the Mets considered non-tendering him this offseason, making him a free agent.

Someone would probably take a chance on him because famous names who once showed tremendous promise are often given multiple chances in the big leagues (See, Willis, Dontrelle). But at the moment, there is nothing in Harvey’s game to suggest that he is capable of taking advantage of such a chance. All one can hope is that an offseason of rest and conditioning will allow Harvey to reclaim at least a portion of his old form.