The Mets think they found a flaw in the delivery of struggling right-hander Matt Harvey, whose command is suffering because his arm is pausing/stopping, tweets FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. Mets assistant general manager John Ricco expressed confidence Friday that Harvey’s on the right track mechanically. In his latest start, a loss to the Nationals on Tuesday, Harvey struck out only one batter while allowing eight hits (including three home runs), five earned runs and two walks across five innings. The 27-year-old was one of baseball’s premier starters from 2012-15 (2.53 ERA, 9.46 K.9, 1.98 BB/9 over 427 innings), but the 2016 version has gone the opposite direction. Harvey’s 6.08 ERA through 53 1/3 frames ranks fourth worst among the league’s qualified starters, while his strikeouts have notably declined (7.43 K/9) and his walks have increased (2.87 BB/9).
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- Michael Pineda, another righty amid a surprisingly subpar season, might not continue to have a spot in the Yankees’ rotation if his troubles continue. Pineda’s ERA ballooned to 6.92 Saturday after he gave up nine hits and six earned runs in a loss to the Rays, and pitching coach Larry Rothschild didn’t close the door on demoting him, per Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media. “We’d like to get him through this but our eyes are open with what goes on,” he said. “To win games is the most important thing for the team. So, in jeopardy, I don’t know. But we realize what’s going on.” The decision will ultimately rest with general manager Brian Cashman, whom manager Joe Girardi and Rothschild speak with on a daily basis.
- Even if the Yankees do wish to use Pineda’s remaining option and send him to the minors, they’re not exactly overflowing with candidates to replace him, as George A. King III of the New York Post points out. The Bombers already had to demote the similarly disappointing Luis Severino, for whom they also had high hopes entering the season. For his part, Pineda doesn’t think his issues are related to health. “I feel strong. I feel good,” he said Saturday. Pineda’s velocity would seem to agree with that, and his K/9 currently sits at a career-best 9.96.
- It was previously unclear how much time Mets first baseman Lucas Duda would miss after landing on the disabled list Monday with a stress fracture in his back. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson clarified Saturday, telling reporters – including ESPN’s Adam Rubin (video link) – that Duda should be out in the four- to six-week range. Thanks to Duda’s injury, the Mets acquired fellow lefty-swinging veteran James Loney from San Diego on Saturday to help fill the void at first.