Yet more details concerning the Matt Harvey saga. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Mets sent two members of the club’s security team to check up on Harvey at his Manhattan apartment on Saturday. Harvey had golfed that morning, then drove home and came down with a headache. He texted pitching coach Dan Warthen, informing him he would not be showing up at Citi Field. Because Harvey had been late several times previously, and because Harvey missed the 3 PM cutoff to take the day off, the club decided to suspend him for three games. Harvey reportedly answered the door in his pajamas and was quizzed about what he was doing with his time.
According to those close to him, Harvey feels that the team is singling him out and his suspension was in part motivated by the front office’s soured mood following the Noah Syndergaard saga. (Syndergaard refused to undergo an MRI and then suffered a serious injury that will sideline him for several months.)
Harvey is considering filing a grievance with the Mets over his three-game suspension. The players’ union will have the final say on whether it goes through. For now, Harvey is expected to return to the mound on Friday in Milwaukee so he can avoid a “hostile environment” in New York.
Last week, I pointed out the odd way in which the Mets have been handling their injured players following the reduction of the minimum stay on the disabled list from 15 days to 10 days. Unlike the rest of the league, the Mets continue to hem and haw with their injured players rather than utilizing the DL and more optimally utilizing their limited roster space.
The trend is continuing. Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera injured his left thumb attempting to make a diving play on Saturday. He didn’t play on Sunday, and the Mets had him test the thumb on Monday, leading them to believe a stint on the DL is unnecessary, per Zach Braziller of the New York Post. He won’t start for at least a few days but may be called on to pinch-hit. The Mets, apparently, believe that Cabrera isn’t at risk for exacerbating his thumb injury by swinging the bat at less than 100 percent.
Cabrera is hitting .260/.336/.385 with three home runs and 14 RBI in 116 plate appearances this season. While he’s out, at least on Monday, Jose Reyes will shift to shortstop and Wilmer Flores will play third base.
In the wake of the Matt Harvey drama, Mets manager Terry Collins was asked on Monday if Harvey’s teammates respect him. Per Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal, Collins said, “I can’t answer that. I don’t know.” Collins said he didn’t want to speak for the whole team.
Collins said more with what he didn’t say, which would have been some variation of the word “yes” in response to that question. This seems to imply that there’s some internal strife within the Mets’ organization concerning Harvey. As we learned yesterday, Harvey’s three-day suspension for no-showing at Citi Field on Saturday was influenced in some part by previous unnamed incidents. So, the right-hander is neither making friends in the front office nor the clubhouse, it sounds.
As Seth Walder of the New York Daily News reported on Sunday, infielder Jose Reyes said of Harvey, “We’re disappointed. We have to understand, we’re employees. You have to come to your job every day. We count on him.” He added, “Everybody knows here what the rules are. When you miss that, that’s not acceptable.” (I guess everyone’s going to ignore the irony of Reyes criticizing anyone for not following the rules.)
Former Met Paul Lo Duca tweeted criticism of Harvey, saying “he let his teammates down more than anyone.” Bob Ojeda, also a former Met and current SNY analyst, said, “Very disappointing the relationship between the Mets and Matt Harvey has become so toxic.”
The Mets plan to have Harvey return to the rotation to start on Friday against the Brewers in Milwaukee, Marc Carig of Newsday reports. According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the Mets prefer Harvey to return to start on the road rather than pitch at home on Wednesday to avoid a “hostile environment.”