Mets pitching coach calls John Maine 'a habitual liar in a lot of ways as far as his own health'

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John Maine lasted all of five pitches versus the Nationals last night, as the Mets yanked him for “precautionary reasons” one batter into his start because of decreased velocity that began during his pregame bullpen session.
Maine walked the leadoff man while failing to top 85 miles per hour, but afterward he said he wasn’t injured and vented frustration about the quick hook, arguing about it with Jerry Manuel in the dugout. Pitching coach Dan Warthen then took things several steps further by telling reporters that Maine “is a habitual liar in a lot of ways as far as his own health.”
Seriously.
Warthen went on to call Maine “a competitor and a warrior” but added that “there’s got to be something incorrect in that arm.” For now the impending free agent is scheduled to be examined by doctors Friday in New York. Maine was unaware of this until reporters told him about it after the game. His response: “I don’t need to go to a doctor.”
Only the Mets.

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.

Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.

While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.