With the level of concern increasing throughout the spring, Mets righty Matt Harvey turned around the narrative with his most recent outing, as Marc Carig of Newsday reports. While the results weren’t stellar, Harvey was sitting at 93 to 94 mph with his fastball and reached as high as 96, putting him back in his normal range. Plus, manager Terry Collins said, there were improvements to the veteran righty’s mechanics and command. That appearance has at least temporarily halted any clear need to consider keeping the 27-year-old in extend spring training to open the season, though Carig notes that approach could still end up as an option given the presence of three intriguing alternatives in Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, and Zack Wheeler.
Here are some more arms-related updates from the NL East:
- The division-rival Nationals, meanwhile, are sorting through their own pitching decisions. As Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com writes, skipper Dusty Baker would like to carry a long reliever, though it’s unclear just who’d take that role. Minor-league signee Jeremy Guthrie has shown life with his fastball, and he’s joined in camp by fellow non-roster invitees Vance Worley, Matt Albers, and Jacob Turner as well as former top prospect A.J. Cole. Of course, carrying a multi-inning reliever would mean leaving behind someone else. 42-year-old Joe Nathan might be one of the top alternatives; as Zuckerman further writes, the team seems to be weighing his possible inclusion, having given him nine innings of action. Nathan has allowed just three earned runs, though he has only four strikeouts to go with three walks. Unless the Nats go with an eight-man pen, keeping any of the above-mentioned pitchers would likely mean parting with either veteran Oliver Perez (who’s guaranteed $4MM) or out-of-options newcomer Enny Romero, both of whom are currently projected by Jason Martinez of MLBTR and RosterResource.com to make the active roster.
- Then, there’s the question of the closer spot for the Nationals. As MLB.com’s Jamal Collier tweets, Baker has trotted out Koda Glover for five-straight ninth-inning appearances, perhaps suggesting he’s testing him for the job. The veteran manager says he believes that the 23-year-old Glover has the arsenal needed to close, with the team assessing whether he’s ready to handle that spot at this stage. His top competitor appears to be Blake Treinen, who has been dominant in three spring frames (six strikeouts, no walks or hits). Glover has received a much more substantial showcase thus far, and has also impressed by allowing just one earned run on four hits and a single walk with 11 strikeouts over eight innings.
- For the Marlins, there’s increasing unease with the showing thus far from lefty Adam Conley, as manager Don Mattingly said yesterday. (Video via the Sun-Sentinel.) The long-framed southpaw has struggled to “sync everything up” thus far, says Mattingly, leaving the club with at least a “little bit” of concern at this stage. Noting that the club is still considering the form of its Opening Day rotation, the skipper says that one major concern is Conley’s inefficiency, which has been a problem in the past. Last year, he managed only 133 1/3 innings over 25 starts.