The Mets won their eighth straight game Sunday against the Marlins improve to 10-3 on the year, but it came as a cost, as catcher Travis d’Arnaud and left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins were forced to leave the game due to injuries. Today we learned a little bit more about how long they’ll be sidelined.
As for d’Arnaud, he suffered a fractured right pinkie finger when was hit by a pitch yesterday. The Mets announced today that he’ll wear a splint for three weeks before being reevaluated. There’s a chance he’ll be able to resume baseball activities at that time, so that’s good news under the circumstances. Prospect catcher Kevin Plawecki is expected to get the bulk of the playing time behind the plate during his absence.
Blevins, who was hit by a comebacker yesterday, was diagnosed with a distal radius fracture of the left arm. He’ll wear a splint for six weeks and could resume throwing at that time. Still, it sounds like something that will likely keep him out of the mix for at least the next two months. The Mets are calling up right-hander Hansel Robles to take his place in the bullpen while Alex Torres and Sean Gilmartin will take on bigger roles from the left side.
D’Arnaud was hitting .317 (13-for-41) with two homers and 10 RBI through 11 games this season while Blevins had retired all 15 batters he had faced so far. Tough losses, both of them.
Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.
Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.
Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”
Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.
Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.