Rays minor leaguer David Wendt suspended 50 games

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David Wendt, a Double-A catcher in the Rays’ farm system, has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for Methylhexaneamine.

Several other minor leaguers have been suspended for Methylhexaneamine during the past year, including Blue Jays first-round pick Marcus Stroman.

Here’s what Liam Casey of the Toronto Star wrote about the drug at the time of Stroman’s suspension:

Methylhexaneamine can be found in popular training supplements sold at nutritional and drug stores. While it’s chemically related to amphetamines, it’s only slightly more powerful than a cup of coffee, according to Greg Wells, a kinesiology professor at the University of Toronto who has educated Olympic athletes on doping rules.

“It’s a short-acting stimulant, but it’s not something that we need to hang this guy up for anything like that,” Wells said. “It’s not a big deal.”

Wendt is a non-prospect as a 26-year-old who’s hit just .235 with a .597 OPS in four seasons as a pro, but he probably thinks having to sit out two months is a big deal.

Mets to move Matt Harvey to the bullpen

Matt Harvey
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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.