No one gets hit by more pitches than Carlos Quentin, so not surprisingly he’s had some beefs with pitchers besides Zack Greinke.
Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com passed along this article he wrote from August 20 of last season, when Ryan Vogelsong of the Giants plunked Quentin:
Brandon Belt had an angry, red bruise just above his right hip. Ryan Vogelsong was even angrier. The Giants’ intense right-hander was incensed that Belt was hit in what the Giants viewed as a clear retaliatory act in the fourth inning of a 7-1 loss to the San Diego Padres on Sunday.
Vogelsong had hit Carlos Quentin two innings earlier. And after the game, Vogelsong sent a verbal shot whizzing in Quentin’s direction. “The guy hammers balls over the plate and then gets pissed when you throw them inside,” Vogelsong said. “Doesn’t make sense. … Every time you hit a guy in this game, they think you did it on purpose. It’s tired.”
Whatever you think of what happened last night, it does seem odd that a hitter who gets plunked an average of 25 times per 150 games wouldn’t be a little more used to it by now.
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.