Jhonny Peralta must have been asked by Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez to give a far more impersonal and crappy public statement about the Biogenesis stuff than they gave, thereby making them look better:
I’m curious to see how this is received. In the past, such statements were panned by baseball writers as not being forthcoming. Players were asked to try to explain things, not hide behind legal statements. Then, when they started to explain more, they were panned for sounding like they were lying and — even if they did provide details — for still not being forthcoming. Peralta is going old school with this. Interesting.
Probably doesn’t matter though. Anyone who follows this stuff knows that the real predictor of how much scorn a ballplayer is going to get over this kind of thing has nothing to do with his actions or statements. It has everything to do with how famous he is. And Peralta isn’t nearly as famous as Alex Rodriguez or Ryan Braun.
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.