Matt Harvey’s dreadful outing tonight has left the Mets uncertain as to whether he’ll be on the hill for his next scheduled start, which also comes against the division-rival Nationals. Skipper Terry Collins said after the game that he hadn’t yet decided whether to give the ball to Harvey in D.C., as Mike Puma of the New York Post was among those to report (Twitter links). “We will take a hard look at what the next move is going to be,” said Collins. Harvey’s earned run average has ballooned to an ugly 5.77 over his first 48 1/3 frames on the year. It does seem fair to note that the peripherals suggest Harvey has suffered from some bad luck, with ERA estimators crediting him with a sub-4.00 effort entering the day, though his effort this evening will hurt those figures and he’s lost just over a tick on his average fastball. Meanwhile, Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post draws the inevitable comparisons between Harvey and Nats ace Stephen Strasburg, who had a strong showing to pick up the win.
Here’s more from the eastern divisions:
- Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth agreed last fall to a new payout structure for his contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Under the agreement, Werth has deferred $10MM of his salary this year until 2018, at a 5% interest rate. That continues a pattern of postponed paydays in Washington’s player contracts, which is in some part a reflection of the team’s efforts to deal with an ongoing television-rights dispute with the Orioles and the Baltimore-controlled Mid-Atlantic Sports Network.
- Commissioner Rob Manfred addressed that TV battle today, as Svrluga reports. As things stand, the parties are appealing a lower court’s refusal to enforce a determination by the league’s Revenue Sharing Definitions Committee, putting a hold on the Nationals’ efforts to recoup additional rights fees for past years and increase their future take. Manfred had harsh words for the Orioles’ actions in the matter. “It is important to bear in mind the fundamentals,” he said. “The fundamentals are that the Orioles agreed that the RSDC would set the rights fees for MASN and the Orioles every five years. The Orioles have engaged in a pattern of conduct designed to avoid that agreement being effectuated.” MASN issued a counter-statement saying that Manfred was ignoring “the fundamentals of the case” — namely, the court’s findings of a conflict of interest (based on the law firm that represented the Nationals) — and stating that the RSDC had failed to use an appropriate method for setting the rights fees. If you’re interested in the gory details, you can find a recap of the trial court decision here.
- The departure of David Ortiz and reemergence of Hanley Ramirez leaves the Red Sox with both opportunity and uncertainty at first base. Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com suggests that youngster Sam Travis could keep the team from needing to add a major bat via free agency. The 2014 second-rounder has risen quickly, and is currently putting up a solid .281/.338/.438 batting line over his first 160 plate appearances at the Triple-A level at 22 years of age. Pawtucket hitting coach Rich Gedman credits Travis with being aggressive without seeking to hit the ball out of the park, suggesting that he’s a polished and well-rounded hitter.
- Entering the day in last place in the AL East, the Yankees need to seriously consider prioritizing future improvements over their 2016 prospects, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney argues (Insider link). Olney ticks through a variety of ways — including allocation of playing time and weighing trades — that New York can and should shift its focus to 2017, suggesting a sort of realistic re-tooling rather than any kind of full rebuilding project.
- Deposed Braves skipper Fredi Gonzalez tells MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM that he’s looking forward to other opportunities now that he’s lost his post in Atlanta. (Twitter link.) But he said that he isn’t necessarily looking for another job running a dugout. “I am looking forward to doing something in the game and it doesn’t have to be managing,” said Gonzalez.