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.

Dallas Keuchel is unlikely to return before the All-Star break

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Astros’ left-hander Dallas Keuchel might not return to the rotation before the All-Star break, Houston manager A.J. Hinch told reporters prior to Sunday’s game. The club placed their star southpaw on the 10-day disabled list on June 8, retroactive to June 5, after a nerve issue was revealed in his neck.

Keuchel has taken a conservative approach to his recovery over the last several weeks, and while he appears to have made some progress, still has yet to throw off the mound. The injury interrupted the start of an outstanding run with the Astros, during which the 29-year-old lefty furnished a 9-0 record with a 1.67 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 through his first 75 2/3 innings of 2017.

According to Hinch, it’s certainly possible that Keuchel could return to the team sometime within the next two weeks, but it’s clear that the team would prefer to play it extra safe with their ace. Even assuming that he feels ready to reclaim his spot on the Astros’ pitching staff, he still needs to complete a few key activities before competing in another game — like throwing off a mound, for example. In the meantime, Lance McCullers Jr. will continue to head Houston’s rotation as they try to build on their 12.5-game lead in the AL West.

 

Hinch’s full comments are below:

The Mets are promoting Tim Tebow to Single-A St. Lucie

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Mets GM Sandy Alderson told the media on Sunday that the organization is promoting outfielder Tim Tebow from Single-A Columbia to advanced Single-A St. Lucie, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports.

Tebow, 29, wasn’t hitting particularly well to merit the promotion. Across 241 plate appearances with Columbia, he hit .222/.311/.340 with three home runs and 22 RBI. He had just seven extra-base hits (all doubles) in his most recent 20 games. Alderson, however, defended the decision by citing Tebow’s exit velocity and other metrics.

I think we can all agree that the real reason is that promoting Tebow creates another opportunity for the Mets to sell merchandise with his name on it.

One has to feel for the outfielder Tebow will displace. St. Lucie’s regular outfielders have comparable stats to Tebow’s, so they aren’t exactly being replaced on merit. That outfielder will see less playing time, hurting his future prospects. Adding Tebow to St. Lucie’s roster will push someone off of the roster, which will also harm that player’s future prospects. And, remember, these players don’t make much money to begin with.