Over the weekend, the Mets decided to move struggling starter Matt Harvey to the bullpen, hoping he would re-find success in a new role. His first appearance as a reliever this season wasn’t particularly impressive.
Harvey entered in the top of the fifth inning Tuesday night against the Cardinals. He gave up a run on back-to-back two-out doubles from Dexter Fowler and Paul DeJong. It was the only run he allowed over two innings, but he threw 35 pitches, only 20 of which were strikes. His fastball topped out at 94.7 MPH; he was averaging 96 MPH as recently as 2015.
It’s pretty clear that Harvey doesn’t have anything close to the stuff he had three years ago when he helped bring the Mets to the World Series. One wonders if agent Scott Boras really was right all along when he wanted the Mets to be careful with him coming off of Tommy John surgery.
It was announced earlier this month that 53-year-old Rafael Palmeiro signed a contract with the Cleburne Railroaders of the independent American Association, joining his son, former minor leaguer Patrick Palmeiro. The four-time All-Star went 0-for-8 to begin his stint with the club before launching a solo homer in the fifth inning last night. Check it out below.
If we’re being technical here, that was his first home run since July 30, 2005. He hit the homer off 28-year-old Trey McNutt, former prospect with the Cubs and Padres. Palmeiro made his major league debut in 1986, three years before McNutt was born.
Palmeiro told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic last December that he was thinking about a comeback, but he understandably didn’t garner any serious consideration from MLB teams. This comeback attempt might not lead anywhere, but hey, he gets to show that he can still mash while hitting in the same lineup with his son. Palmeiro did that once before with the independent Sugar Land Skeeters in 2015, though it was just a one-game thing. As for the Railroaders, the national media attention can only help them.
Palmeiro is one of just six players in MLB history to reach 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, but he’s been a disgraced figure in the game since a failed drug test for performance-enhancing drugs in 2005. He dropped off the Hall of Fame ballot in 2014.