Mets ace Matt Harvey is battling blisters on his pitching hand. It may cause the Mets to skip his next start, reports the New York Post. This could also impact his availability for the All-Star Game, although which way it cuts is hard to say.
He was scheduled to pitch on Sunday, which would have limited him to one inning of All-Star Game duty. If the blisters are fixed by the skipped start, however, he could then pitch more in the All-Star Game than he otherwise would have. On the other hand, the blisters may be enough to knock him out of the All-Star Game entirely. That plus a skipped start would give him a nice break, actually. And in a season where the Mets aren’t competing for anything meaningful, why not rest your future a bit more?
All-Star opportunity or one of the many All-Star injuries — real or otherwise — we’ll see this week? Guess we’ll know eventually.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.
The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.
Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.
Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”