Picking on the Marlins’ coaching staff is kind of silly, since they’re in an impossible situation, but they just hired Frank Menechino as the new hitting coach and Joe Frisaso of MLB.com has an article about how manager Mike Redmond is going to focus on “doing the little things”:
The MLB playoffs also are demonstrating the significance of executing the basics. “You talk about winning baseball,” Redmond said. “You talk about playoff teams. You talk about what do these guys do that the other teams don’t? It is the little things.
“It is unselfish baseball. It’s getting the guy over from second with less than two outs. It’s driving the run in with less than two outs and the infield back. It could be a ground ball to short or a ground ball to first, whatever it takes to get that run in.” …
“I think back to winning baseball, and what’s winning baseball?” Redmond said. “That’s doing the little things like bunting, which we were not good at, and we will get better at. Then offensively, then doing the unselfish things that will help us win ball games.”
Miami ranked dead last among all teams in scoring at 3.17 runs per game while no other team averaged fewer than 3.69. They also ranked dead last in homers, doubles, and OPS. They, did, however rank among the top 10 in sacrifice bunts. Every manager wants his team to “do the little things” better every season–and come March there will be endless articles about that exact topic–but ultimately the Marlins stunk offensively because they didn’t do the big things.
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.