Mets starter Matt Harvey will take the next step in his recovery from last October’s Tommy John surgery. Matt Ehalt of The Record reports that Harvey will throw an up/down bullpen on Thursday. An up/down bullpen simulates the pitch-and-rest nature of a real game — Harvey will throw, rest for eight minutes, then get up and throw again.
If Harvey, who hasn’t pitched since August 24 last season, continues to make progress, he is expected to be ready to start the 2015 season in the Mets’ rotation. Harvey was an NL Cy Young candidate in 2013, finishing with a 2.27 ERA and a 191/31 K/BB ratio in 178 1/3 innings across 26 starts.
Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.
Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.
With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.