Matt Harvey

Matt Harvey finishes strong, joins elite company before being shut down by Mets

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Matt Harvey’s final start of the season was delayed one day by a rain and the Mets rookie tossed seven innings of one-run, one-hit ball against the Phillies last night before being shut down to limit his workload.

Harvey finishes with a 2.73 ERA, .200 opponents’ batting average, and 70/26 K/BB ratio in 59 innings, which along with his at times overpowering raw stuff has to have Mets fans awfully excited.

He also joins some pretty elite company by making double-digit starts and striking out double-digit batters per nine innings as a 23-year-old, which had previously been accomplished by just seven other pitchers in baseball history:

                      YEAR     SO/9
MATT HARVEY           2012     10.6
Stephen Strasburg     2012     11.1
Scott Kazmir          2007     10.4
Mark Prior            2004     10.5
Johan Santana         2002     11.4
Bobby Witt            1987     10.1
Sam McDowell          1966     10.4
Sandy Koufax          1959     10.2

That’s a pretty interesting mix of pitching phenoms.

Counting his work in the minors Harvey threw a total of 169.1 innings this season with 182 strikeouts versus 139 hits allowed. His control still needs plenty of work, but Harvey sure looks like he has ace potential.

Twins’ minor league pitcher Landa dies in Venezuela

FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 05:  Yorman Landa #81 of the Minnesota Twins makes a throw to first base during the fourth inning of a spring training game against the Baltimore Orioles at Hammond Stadium on March 5, 2016 in Fort Myers, Florida.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins say minor league pitcher Yorman Landa has died in Venezuela. He was 22.

The club said in a statement that the Twins are “deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss.” The team did not say how he died.

Landa pitched in the 2016 season with the Fort Meyers Miracle, going 2-2 with 7 saves and a 3.24 ERA in 41 2/3 innings pitched. His career minor-league ERA was 2.66.

Landa had been on the Twins’ 40-man roster, but was dropped after the season. The organization signed him to a minor-league contract last week.

Landa was signed by the Twins in 2010 as a 16-year old from Santa Teresa, Venezuela.

Orioles are eying Welington Castillo as their primary catcher target

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 25: Welington Castillo #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks warms up prior to taking an at bat against the Baltimore Orioles in the second inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 25, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
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A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.

Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.

For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.