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Matt Harvey’s first appearance out of the bullpen was not great

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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.

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.