Mets right-hander Matt Harvey spoke to Tom Verducci of the Sports Illustrated about his recovery from Tommy John elbow surgery and said he wanted to return to the majors in August to make 5-7 starts down the stretch, but general manager Sandy Alderson quickly made it clear that the team isn’t going to let that happen.
August would be just 10 months after the surgery and the typically recovery timetable is 12-18 months, which is why Alderson said this to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York:
Not being a medical doctor and not really faced with that decision previously, I’ll reserve judgment. But the one thing we don’t want to do is be put in a situation where someone–Matt, or anyone else–has a setback because we’ve pushed the natural recovery processes further than we should have.
Exactly. Alderson and the Mets don’t need Harvey back for 5-7 starts in August and September, they need him back for hundreds of starts over the next decade. And by giving him every opportunity to be at full strength whenever he does take the mound again they give themselves the best chance to accomplish that.
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.