Still “dizzy” and “foggy” following a relatively minor-looking home plate collision Friday night, Denard Span has been placed on the new seven-day disabled list for concussions by the Twins.
Span was diagnosed with a mild concussion after spending four hours being examined by doctors in Minnesota yesterday and the Twins are all too aware of the havoc a concussion can have on a player after losing Justin Morneau for the final three months of last season.
Further complicating the situation is that Span had problems with vertigo in 2009 and still deals with some symptoms from that, telling Dave Campbell of the Associated Press: “Every now and then I’ll feel like spaced out and feel like the room is moving a little bit.”
Rene Tosoni was called up from Triple-A to replace Span on the roster and the Twins are close to getting both Joe Mauer and Tsuyoshi Nishioka back from the disabled list, but Span has been the team’s most valuable all-around player while hitting .294 with a .361 on-base percentage atop the lineup and playing standout defense in center field.
Mets right-hander Matt Harvey is heading to the bullpen, according to comments made by club manager Mickey Callaway on Saturday. As predicted, Harvey doesn’t appear to be taking the news particularly well, going so far as to tell Callaway that the decision has him “at a 10 with being pissed off” and that he’s motivated to prove himself as a starter.
It’s been rough going for Harvey this spring. After missing significant time to a shoulder injury last season, the 29-year-old righty returned to the mound with a lot left to prove. He pitched to an 0-2 record in four starts, issuing 14 runs, four home runs and 17 strikeouts in 21 innings. It’s been a while since the Mets have seen anything better out of their starter — he hasn’t turned in a sub-4.00 ERA since 2015 and hasn’t pitched well enough to earn an All-Star berth since 2013 — and now it appears they’re at the end of their rope.
At this point, the Mets insist that the shift is a temporary one. While Callaway has helped successfully convert several starters to the bullpen, including Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco, that’s not the plan for this veteran right-hander. Instead, both the team and Harvey seem to view the change as a way to clear up any mental blocks Harvey may be encountering on the mound. “We know he’s healthy,” assistant GM John Ricco told reporters. “He’s feeling good. Then you get to, is this a little bit of a mental thing, a confidence thing? One of the things we talk about is getting him into the ‘pen, where he can have success in short spurts, get that confidence back and really let it go and get back to being a guy who can dominate the way he’s shown in the past.”
Harvey will be eligible to pitch out of the bullpen on Tuesday, when the Mets are scheduled to kick off their next road series against the Cardinals. As for his replacement, left-hander Jason Vargas will resume his role in the rotation when he comes off the disabled list next Saturday.