Matt Harvey expresses frustration about how the Mets are handling his Tommy John rehab

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It’s impossible to summarize all the elements of this story from Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, so you might as well just go read it.

The gist is that Matt Harvey wants to do his year-long rehab from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery at home in Manhattan and the Mets would rather him remain at their spring training complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Harvey is also upset that the Mets moved his locker this spring — “basically in a closet, I didn’t think that was right” — and the ace right-hander is confused about whom he’s allowed to speak to in the media and what he’s allowed to say.

It’s all-too-typical Mets drama. Here’s an excerpt from Martino’s story, which, again, is worth a full read:

About seven minutes into our conversation, Harvey and I noticed Mets PR man Jay Horwitz standing in front of us, glaring.

“He’s alright, Jay,” Harvey said. “Jay, he’s alright.”

“What?” I said to Horwitz.

“I’ll talk to you later,” Horwitz said to me.

“OK,” I said, but Horwitz did not move.

“He’s good, Jay,” Harvey said again. “He’s good. If somebody at the top needs to talk, I’ll talk to him.”

“You’re causing me some problems,” Horwitz said to me.

“OK,” I said, then turned back to Harvey.

“Are you writing something?” Horwitz said. “Can I –”

“Jay,” Harvey said. “If somebody needs to talk to the Players’ Association, I have a right to have him writing about me.”

Not wanting to make the situation any more awkward for Harvey, I turned off my recorder and wrapped up the conversation.

Hearing of the interview, Alderson sought out Harvey shortly thereafter.  “I talked with him to provide clarification,” Alderson later told me, explaining that they discussed the rehab process, and whether there was a team-imposed rule against sharing his thoughts with the public.

Harvey later met with a group of Mets reporters and said with a smile that his rehab itinerary is still under discussion. He had Tommy John surgery on October 22, 2013 and will miss the entire 2014 regular season.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.