Victor Martinez, Josh Harrison win Player of the Month honors for August

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The news comes from the MLB Public Relations Twitter. Matt Shoemaker and Madison Bumgarner won Pitcher of the Month honors for August, while Shoemaker and Kyle Hendricks won Rookie of the Month honors.

Martinez put together a .350/.442/.547 slash line with six home runs and 30 RBI in August. On August 27, the 35-year-old hit a home run against Yankees starter Shane Greene. It was his 26th of the season, setting a new career-high mark in his 12-year career, besting the 25 he hit as a 28-year-old in 2007 with the Indians.

Harrison posted a .347/.374/.602 slash line with four home runs, nine RBI, and four stolen bases. The Pirates went 14-14 in August, partially due to losing reigning NL MVP Andrew McCutchen for 14 games between the 4th and 19th, so it would have been much worse without their speedy utility man. Harrison is now manning third base on an everyday basis in place of the struggling Pedro Alvarez.

Mets to move Matt Harvey to the bullpen

Matt Harvey
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Mets right-hander Matt Harvey is heading to the bullpen, according to comments made by club manager Mickey Callaway on Saturday. As predicted, Harvey doesn’t appear to be taking the news particularly well, going so far as to tell Callaway that the decision has him “at a 10 with being pissed off” and that he’s motivated to prove himself as a starter.

It’s been rough going for Harvey this spring. After missing significant time to a shoulder injury last season, the 29-year-old righty returned to the mound with a lot left to prove. He pitched to an 0-2 record in four starts, issuing 14 runs, four home runs and 17 strikeouts in 21 innings. It’s been a while since the Mets have seen anything better out of their starter — he hasn’t turned in a sub-4.00 ERA since 2015 and hasn’t pitched well enough to earn an All-Star berth since 2013 — and now it appears they’re at the end of their rope.

At this point, the Mets insist that the shift is a temporary one. While Callaway has helped successfully convert several starters to the bullpen, including Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco, that’s not the plan for this veteran right-hander. Instead, both the team and Harvey seem to view the change as a way to clear up any mental blocks Harvey may be encountering on the mound. “We know he’s healthy,” assistant GM John Ricco told reporters. “He’s feeling good. Then you get to, is this a little bit of a mental thing, a confidence thing? One of the things we talk about is getting him into the ‘pen, where he can have success in short spurts, get that confidence back and really let it go and get back to being a guy who can dominate the way he’s shown in the past.”

Harvey will be eligible to pitch out of the bullpen on Tuesday, when the Mets are scheduled to kick off their next road series against the Cardinals. As for his replacement, left-hander Jason Vargas will resume his role in the rotation when he comes off the disabled list next Saturday.