Matt Harvey threw off a mound on Friday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery. He did it at Citi Field and, apparently, things went well. Andy Martino of the Daily News reports, however, that maybe he wasn’t supposed to have done that:
Was Harvey scheduled to take that particular step on Friday? Or was the mound session supposed to wait until Tuesday in Port St. Lucie? Let’s just say that different people at the ballpark had different ideas of the plan, and Mets personnel spent part of the afternoon trying to iron that particular wrinkly shirt.
Martino says that other than confusion it created no problems, but does note that this is part of the deal with Harvey: he’s headstrong and does what he wants. It seems, however, that the Mets are generally cool with it even if it causes them consternation at times. It’s easier to be cool with it when the guy is poised to lead your pitching staff for several years.
Fascinating stuff in a fascinating city for fascinating stuff. The sort of “it’s all cool until the moment it isn’t” dynamic that seems to happen in New York more than anyplace else.
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.