Mike Lupica tells Matt Harvey he needs to grow up. It’s pretty close to incoherent, even by Lupica’s standards — I’d bet my children this was dictated from the car as he rode to the ESPN studios or wherever he was over the weekend — but here’s the paraphrased version:
Matt Harvey thinks he’s so big and, yes, actually, he IS so big. But he doesn’t need to constantly remind us of all of the things he’s doing in his rehab even though people who cover the Mets report on every single little thing about what he’s doing in his rehab and eve though Mets fans really want to know what’s going on with his rehab too.
And he needs to cut out this enthusiasm he has to get back on the field, because that’s just bad. I mean, not as bad as when Mets players show something less than enthusiasm to to get on the field — we kill guys for that! — but still pretty bad. And this coming back from injury early thing is nearly as bad as lingering on the DL longer than we M.D.s in the media think is appropriate.
Gosh, I am so lost and lonely and only care about baseball insofar as it allows me to lecture young punk kids to not be young punk kids.
If you get anything else out of that column, let me know, because that’s how it read to me. I will quote one bit of actual Lupica, though:
One of these days, Matt Harvey needs to remember — and that probably means before he hurts his arm again — that his job is to be a star young baseball pitcher, not some sort of needy celebrity who acts as if he gets the bends when he is out of the spotlight for very long.
Physician, heal thyself.
My take on Harvey: it’s better to listen to your manager and your GM, dude, and you should be a bit more aware of the media environment in which you play. But beyond that, you’re cool. Get your arm ready and pitch when we tell you to and it’ll all be fine.
I feel like one can take that position and not have baseball be ruined, but I suppose only time will tell.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals are keeping an eye on outfield prospect Luis Robert. The 19-year-old left his native Cuba last November and is expected to command interest from multiple MLB teams as he approaches free agency. Goold adds that the Cardinals sent scouts to evaluate Robert’s workouts in the Dominican Republic as recently as last week.
There’s still a good chance that the club won’t get a shot at signing him; as Craig mentioned last month, it seems likely that Major League Baseball won’t declare Robert a free agent until after June 15. By July 2, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement’s policies on international bonuses will go into effect, handcuffing teams with the maximum penalty for bonuses to a $300,000 signing figure for any available international prospect. It’s designed to effectively take away those teams’ abilities to sign additional international talent, and the Cardinals have already spent a reported $9.35 million in bonuses on Venezuelan outfielder Victor Garcia, Cuban outfielders Jonatan Machado and Randy Arozarena and Cuban right-hander Johan Oviedo.
Until the cutoff in mid-June, the Cardinals are likely to continue actively scouting other international talent, including Robert. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez quotes an anonymous National League scouting director who describes Robert as the No. 2 talent behind Japanese wunderkind Shohei Otani. The 19-year-old hit .286/.319/.397 with a .716 OPS during a 16-game run in the Canadian-American League in 2016, following up an impressive three-year tenure with the Ciego de Avila in the Cuban National Series from 2013-2015.
ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reported over the weekend that the Cubs and reliever Pedro Strop agreed to a contract extension. He’ll remain with the Cubs through 2018 and the new deal includes a club option for the 2019 season as well. Per Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, Strop will earn $5.85 million in 2018 and the club option is worth $6.25 million with a $500,000 buyout. The two sides already avoided arbitration earlier this month, agreeing on a $5.5 million salary for the 2017 season.
Strop, 31, has been a very reliable reliever for the Cubs over the last three years. He has a combined 2.65 ERA with 212 strikeouts and 69 walks over 176 1/3 innings in that span of time.
The Cubs replaced Aroldis Chapman with Wade Davis, so Strop and Hector Rondon will be bridging the gap to Davis this coming season.
Strop joined the Cubs along with Jake Arrieta in the July 2013 trade that sent Steve Clevenger and Scott Feldman to the Orioles. That trade panned out well for the Cubs.