The Mets will manage Matt Harvey’s innings next year to avoid a Strasburgian shutdown


In 2012 the Washington Nationals unwittingly created a gigantic headache for themselves when they publicly declared the existence of and then followed through on a hard shutdown date for their young, post-Tommy John surgery star. Or, rather, a shutdown innings limit, which kept him from pitching in the playoffs and, to this day, has led to criticism of Mike Rizzo and the Nats’ front office.

The Mets, Marc Carig of Newsday reports, are trying to avoid that situation with their young ace, Matt Harvey. Rather, they are going to have a “soft” number of innings they’d like to see him throw in the regular season and manage that workload with days off and skipped starts that, should the Mets make the playoffs, will allow Harvey to pitch.

As Carig notes, that shouldn’t be as hard for the Mets as it may be for some other teams given what, at the moment anyway, appears to be a surplus of starting pitching, including some young pitching which could go back and forth from Triple-A to New York.

The good news: at the moment, Sandy Alderson says the club and Harvey are in agreement with this approach. Though you can bet that some New York reporters will spend a lot of time this year trying to get Harvey to go on record with his own, potentially unique view of the arrangement.

Houston’s Yordan Alvarez leaves game with ankle discomfort

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON — Houston slugger Yordan Alvarez left the Astros’ game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth inning with left ankle discomfort.

Alvarez, who is tied for second in the American League with 37 home runs, rolled his ankle running out of the box on a single in the first inning.

He looked to be in some pain as he jogged to first base and was checked on briefly by manager Dusty Baker and a trainer before remaining in the game. Serving as the designated hitter, he struck out in the third inning before being replaced by pinch-hitter David Hensley for his at-bat in the fifth.