As we heard last week, Matt Harvey is embarking on a six-to-eight week throwing program to rehab his partially-torn elbow ligament rather than undergo Tommy John surgery. Interestingly, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York today that he would like to see Harvey test himself in the prospect-rich Arizona Fall League as part of his rehab process. However, it’s unclear whether he’s actually eligible to do so.
Here are the eligibility rules, directly from the Arizona Fall League website:
“No players with more than one year of credited Major League service as of August 31 are eligible, except a team may select one player picked in the most recently concluded Major League Rule 5 Draft.”
Unless things have changed or there is some loophole that isn’t publicly known, this would seem to disqualify Harvey. Still, it’s clear the Mets want to see Harvey in some sort of competitive environment before a decision is made about surgery.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.