Mets right-hander Matt Harvey threw off a mound today for this first time since he underwent Tommy John reconstructive surgery on his elbow last October. It wasn’t much. He only made 15 tosses, mostly at low intensity, but he told Mike Vorkunov of the Newark Star-Ledger that everything felt good.
Harvey has repeatedly said that he would like to get a chance to pitch in the majors this season, but the Mets aren’t going to rush him back. The plan calls for him to ramp up his throwing program next Tuesday in preparation for the instructional league in Florida. According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said today that there’s a chance he could also make one start in the Arizona Fall League. If all goes well during his rehab process, he should have a normal spring training and start the 2015 season on time.
Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.
Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.
Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.