Matt Harvey to throw an up/down bullpen on Thursday

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Mets starter Matt Harvey will take the next step in his recovery from last October’s Tommy John surgery. Matt Ehalt of The Record reports that Harvey will throw an up/down bullpen on Thursday. An up/down bullpen simulates the pitch-and-rest nature of a real game — Harvey will throw, rest for eight minutes, then get up and throw again.

If Harvey, who hasn’t pitched since August 24 last season, continues to make progress, he is expected to be ready to start the 2015 season in the Mets’ rotation. Harvey was an NL Cy Young candidate in 2013, finishing with a 2.27 ERA and a 191/31 K/BB ratio in 178 1/3 innings across 26 starts.

Minor League Baseball eclipses 40 million in attendance for 14th consecutive season

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Minor League Baseball announced on Wednesday that, for the 14th consecutive season, the league has eclipsed 40 million in total attendance. 20 teams set single-game attendance records and seven teams set franchise records for single-game attendance in their current parks.

ESPN’s Keith Law, who has been covering the minor leagues for quite a while, did the math:

Minor League Baseball president and CEO Pat O’Conner, whose most prominent stint in the public eye involved him disingenuously justifying the underpaying of his players, said, “Minor League Baseball continues to be the best entertainment value in sports, and these numbers support that. For us to top 40 million fans for the 14th consecutive season despite the weather challenges our teams faced in April and May is a testament to the continued support of our loyal fan bases and the creative promotions and hard work done by all of our teams across the country.”

Major and Minor League Baseball are quite happy to make money hand over fist on the backs of their players, but are too cheap to pay them adequately for their labor.