Spring training is a time when healthy players work on things and a time when players coming off of injuries simply work on getting into shape. As such, it’s never a good idea to look too hard at stats or individual outings.
That said, Matt Harvey‘s return to game play after thoracic outlet surgery last summer was always going to be watched a lot more closely than most spring outings. It happened yesterday against the Cardinals. The verdict: eh.
Harvey put in 1.2 innings of work and tossed 39 pitches. His first inning was a 1-2-3 affair with a pair of strikeouts and a groundout to end the inning. In the second inning things went sideways: he allowed four hits, four earned runs and one home run before leaving with two outs.
Again: results don’t matter in spring training and, obviously, a guy’s first game action since last July 4 is going to show some rust. Maybe the most notable thing was his velocity. After the game there were references to him hitting the mid-90s, but the TV gun showed him consistently around 92-93 on his fastball, which is softer than he’s used to throwing.
Coming in to spring training the Mets had no idea what to expect from Harvey this year. One start in, they probably still don’t.
Craig Mish of SiriusXM reports that the Brewers have put together a trade offer for Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich. He describes the club’s interest in Yelich as “strong,” and notes that other teams remain in the mix.
Yelich’s relationship with the Marlins was recently described by his agent as “irretrievably broken” following the trades of Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Dee Gordon. His agent said Yelich “needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win.” Understandably, teams have been calling the Marlins asking about him.
The 26-year-old hit .282/.369/.439 with 18 home runs, 81 RBI, 100 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances last season. He’s in the fourth year of a seven-year, $49.57 million contract of which $44.5 million remains. Given how slow the free agent market has been this offseason, it’s difficult to say exactly what he would get if he were to hit the open market, but it is safe to say that his current contract is very much a bargain for his team, which only makes him even more attractive to inquiring teams.
The Brewers are an interesting team to get involved in the Yelich sweepstakes. Their outfield already has three capable players in Ryan Braun, Domingo Santana, and Keon Broxton. Yelich would still be an upgrade, but the Brewers’ resources may be better spent in other areas like the starting rotation.
Given Yelich’s displeasure and Jeter’s insistence on stripping the Marlins bare — including, potentially, the iconic home run sculpture — it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see a trade happen.