Matt Harvey has thrown his last pitch of the first half, as the Mets announced that they’ll skip his final first-half turn in the rotation Saturday.
Harvey threw a career-high 121 pitches Monday and has been dealing with a blister on his right index finger for several weeks, so this is an easy way for the Mets to limit his workload. Of course, it also clears the path for Harvey to start the All-Star game Tuesday at Citi Field.
Harvey finishes the first half with a 2.35 ERA in 19 starts and a league-leading 147 strikeouts (with just 28 walks) in 130 innings. Carlos Torres will get the spot start Saturday in his place against the Pirates.
Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.
The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.
When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.
Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.
Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.