Mets ace Matt Harvey has been battling a blister on his right index finger. We learned on Wednesday that the Mets are skipping the right-hander’s final start before the All-Star break. Now, according to ESPN’s Adam Rubin, the Mets plan to skip his first start after the break as well, a Friday night start against the Phillies. Carlos Torres will start in his place.
Rubin mentions that Harvey is still expected to pitch in the All-Star Game at Citi Field, most likely as the starter. NL manager Bruce Bochy will officially reveal his batting order and chosen starting pitcher on Monday afternoon.
As his All-Star selection may indicate, Harvey is putting together quite an excellent season. The 24-year-old has a 2.35 ERA in 130 innings and leads the league in strikeouts.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.