Mets right-hander Matt Harvey spoke to Tom Verducci of the Sports Illustrated about his recovery from Tommy John elbow surgery and said he wanted to return to the majors in August to make 5-7 starts down the stretch, but general manager Sandy Alderson quickly made it clear that the team isn’t going to let that happen.
August would be just 10 months after the surgery and the typically recovery timetable is 12-18 months, which is why Alderson said this to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York:
Not being a medical doctor and not really faced with that decision previously, I’ll reserve judgment. But the one thing we don’t want to do is be put in a situation where someone–Matt, or anyone else–has a setback because we’ve pushed the natural recovery processes further than we should have.
Exactly. Alderson and the Mets don’t need Harvey back for 5-7 starts in August and September, they need him back for hundreds of starts over the next decade. And by giving him every opportunity to be at full strength whenever he does take the mound again they give themselves the best chance to accomplish that.
We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.
McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.
Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.
The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.
Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.