ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark takes a long look at the question of how the Mets ought to be handling righty Matt Harvey within the context of the broader state of knowledge on pitching injuries. It is an interesting read, though the bottom-line takeaway remains that even the experts still feel unable to provide clear guidance on how to handle post-Tommy John pitchers.
A few more quick notes relating to the NL East:
- It’s time for the Nationals to consider whether to make a real run at attempting to extend Bryce Harper, writes Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post. As he notes, Harper is currently looking to polish off a historic season — his OPS+ of over 200 is something that a number of inner-circle Hall-of-Famers never reached, let alone at age 22 — which obviously gives him plenty of leverage. True, Harper is already under contract for a reasonable price tag next year — after reaching a two-year, $7.5MM, grievance-avoiding deal that has worked out well for Washington — and he can be controlled for two more seasons beyond. But signing a player like Harper, who is represented by Scott Boras, is probably less about market comps than it is creative business valuation and the imaginations of both sides. Giancarlo Stanton’s record $325MM guarantee would probably need to be smashed to get something done, Boswell suggests, and I’m inclined to agree.
- Marlins lefty Raudel Lazo has overcome long odds to reach the big leagues this year, as Christina De Nicoloa of FOXSports Florida writes. Not only did he have to defect from his native Cuba and climb the ranks as a fairly unheralded signee, but he overcame consecutive Tommy John surgeries along the way. The 26-year-old has a small frame and lacks a high-velocity fastball, but he has consistently posted good strikeout-to-walk numbers in the minors.