When it was first reported that Dillon Gee was headed to the disabled list with a blood clot in his right shoulder, Mets manager Terry Collins indicated that Miguel Batista would likely take his place in the starting rotation next Wednesday against the Nationals. However, Collins hedged a bit when asked about prospect right-hander Matt Harvey earlier this evening.
“We’re in the hunt,” Collins told Mike Puma of the New York Post. “This isn’t a tryout camp. So if the people who see [Harvey] say he’s ready, bring him up, I’m all for it.”
Chris Young is also a possibility to make the start on regular rest, which means the Mets could delay a decision on Gee’s replacement until July 21. While Collins called Harvey a “remote” possibility to pitch either game, it’s clear that his major league debut isn’t far away.
Harvey was selected No. 7 overall in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. The 23-year-old right-hander owns a 3.35 ERA over his first 234 innings in pro ball, including a 3.39 ERA and 102/42 K/BB ratio in 98 1/3 innings with Triple-A Buffalo this season. Baseball America recently ranked him as the No. 34 prospect in the game on their midseason list.
The Arizona Fall League competition came to a close on Saturday, concluding with the Peoria Javelinas’ 8-2 win over the Mesa Solar Sox for the championship title. No one stood out more than Braves’ no. 1 prospect Ronald Acuna, who took home honors as the AFL MVP after slashing .325/.414/.639 with a league-leading seven home runs and second-best 1.053 OPS in 83 at-bats.
At just 19 years old, Acuna is the youngest prospect to receive the award. He made his presence felt even before he suited up for the AFL, earning promotions to the Braves’ Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett and batting a remarkable .325/.374/.522 with 21 home runs across three levels in 2017.
Acuna was also a major factor in the Javelinas’ win on Saturday, but he wasn’t the first to make some noise. The Solar Sox got to right-hander T.J. Zeuch in the first inning, leading off with three singles and a run-scoring sac fly to get a 2-0 edge over the Javelinas. It was the only lead they’d get all afternoon and it lasted just two innings. Luis Urias snapped the shutout with a sac fly in the bottom of the second inning, and the Javelinas took the lead with a game-tying RBI single from Acuna and two-run base hit from Braves’ no. 16 prospect Alex Jackson in the third.
From then on, it was smooth sailing for Peoria. Andrew Case, Andres Munoz and Art Warren combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief, while the offense tacked on another handful of runs with Acuna’s fourth-inning two-RBI single and Michael Chavis’ eighth-inning triple. With runners at the corners and one out, the Solar Sox lifted right-hander Dakota Bacus for fellow righty Nolan Blackwood. Even he was flummoxed by Acuna, however, who grabbed hold of the first pitch he saw and returned another sac fly to center field for the Javelinas’ eighth and final run of the game.
Only 131 days left until Opening Day, folks.