The Cubs want Cameron

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The Cubs had miserable centerfield defense last year. Lou Piniella loves Mike Cameron. Mike Cameron loves Lou Piniella. Gordon Wittenmeyer of the Sun-Times says that these two love birds are about to stop pretending and get on with it already:

Center fielder Mike Cameron could take center stage for the Cubs by
the time the winter meetings begin Monday in Indianapolis, depending on
how quickly they can slam the door on Milton Bradley’s tail and how
much room is left in the payroll.

What’s clear is the Cubs’ interest and the strength of manager Lou
Piniella’s relationship with Cameron, who spent the past two seasons
with Milwaukee.

Cameron makes just about any team he plays for better, and the Cubs certainly have a need. Makes all kinds of sense.  The only hitch is that, according to Wittenmeyer, Chicago wants to move Milton Bradley first. There are a couple of teams waiting for the Cubs to get desperate on that front and throw in some more money.  I would guess that if it means signing a guy they like and finally cutting bait with Bradley, they’ll just bite the bullet, pay up and be done with it.

The Mets will not commit to Matt Harvey making his next start

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Matt Harvey has had a bad and injury-filled couple of years. He hit spring training in decent physical shape, however, and there was much talk about a possible Harvey Renaissance. At times in February, March and in his first start in early April he looked alright too.

That has changed, however. Over his last three starts he has allowed 14 runs on 25 hits in 16 innings, with his latest stinker being last night’s six runs on eight hits outing against the Braves. The poor pitching has resulted in Mets manager Mickey Calloway not committing to Harvey taking his next turn in the rotation. Or, as Ken Davidoff reports in the Post, not commenting when asked if Harvey would, indeed, make his next start.

It’s bad enough when the manager will not make such a commitment, but the Mets pitching coach, Dave Eiland, made comments after the game suggesting the possibility of the Mets putting Harvey in the bullpen. The comments were not pointed, but this suggests his thinking, I’d assume:

While neither Callaway nor Eiland would tip his hand about Harvey’s immediate future, Eiland, who most recently worked for the Royals, smiled when a reporter asked him if he had ever switched a starter to the bullpen under duress. “Yeah, a guy by the name of Wade Davis,” he said. “It turned out pretty well for him.”

That’s a generous way of putting it and, for Harvey, such comments could soften the blow to his ego if, indeed, the club decides to move him to the bullpen. It’s not a demotion, he could claim, it’s the team giving him a chance to regain his past stardom in a different role!

However, whether it was because he was stinging from a poor performance or because he simply hates the idea, Harvey seemed to reject the possibility out of hand, saying, “I’m a starting pitcher. I’ve always been a starting pitcher. That’s my mindset.”

Looks like he’s either going to have to change his mindset or else he’s not going to have a place to pitch in New York for very much longer.