Matt Harvey’s case for the Cy Young award will likely take a hit late in the season, as Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports that the Mets plan to shut down the 24-year-old right-hander once he reaches 200 innings.
There’s no official plan, but according to DiComo “the working assumption is that they will not allow him to exceed last year’s total of 169.1 innings by much more than 30.”
Harvey has thrown 159.2 innings through 23 starts and has 10 starts left if he remains on the usual schedule, which would add up to around 230 innings. So to keep Harvey at 200 innings or fewer the Mets would likely have to skip at least four of his starts, which would mean missing the final three weeks of the season or having his turn in the rotation skipped multiple times before then.
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.