Mets will skip Matt Harvey’s final first-half start

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Matt Harvey has thrown his last pitch of the first half, as the Mets announced that they’ll skip his final first-half turn in the rotation Saturday.

Harvey threw a career-high 121 pitches Monday and has been dealing with a blister on his right index finger for several weeks, so this is an easy way for the Mets to limit his workload. Of course, it also clears the path for Harvey to start the All-Star game Tuesday at Citi Field.

Harvey finishes the first half with a 2.35 ERA in 19 starts and a league-leading 147 strikeouts (with just 28 walks) in 130 innings. Carlos Torres will get the spot start Saturday in his place against the Pirates.

Padres sign Aaron Loup to a one-year deal

Aaron Loup
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Free agent lefty reliever Aaron Loup has been given a locker in the Padres’ clubhouse, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported Sunday. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Loup received a one-year MLB deal with a club option for 2020. The Padres will shift right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.

Loup, 31, began the 2018 season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Phillies for minor league right-hander Jacob Waguespack at the midseason deadline. The veteran left-hander pitched just two innings in Philadelphia before hitting the injured list with a forearm strain and returned for a handful of appearances at the end of the year, bringing him up to a 4.54 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.0 SO/9, and 0.3 fWAR across 39 2/3 combined innings.

Assuming health issues don’t complicate his next campaign in San Diego, Loup will be added to the bullpen alongside fellow left-handers Matt Strahm and José Castillo (with the possible late addition of southpaw reliever Brad Wieck, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer earlier this year). There are worse places to be — according to FanGraphs, the Padres’ ‘pen jumped from second-worst in 2017 to second-best in the league with a cumulative 3.53 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 8.7 fWAR in 2018.