Mets right-hander Matt Harvey continued to allay concerns regarding his early spring velocity dip on Sunday. For the second straight outing, Harvey’s fastball sat in the 92 to 94 mph range and topped out at 97 mph, per Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News. “I couldn’t be happier than where I am now and ready to start the season,” Harvey said after throwing six innings against the Braves and allowing two runs on five hits (via MetsBlog). Harvey’s progress is obviously a positive development for the Mets, who found out Sunday that they could begin the season without the injured Steven Matz. If they do, either Seth Lugo or Zack Wheeler will open the year as their fifth starter. The club has already decided that Robert Gsellman will get a rotation spot, reports FanRag’s Jon Heyman (Twitter link).
More from the National League:
- Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco will likely begin the season on the disabled list as he works his way back from the left shoulder and right hip surgeries he underwent last year, writes Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. Consequently, the team is “leaning toward” retaining fellow backstop Stuart Turner, whom it took from the Twins in the Rule 5 draft, per Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer (Twitter link). Turner would join Tucker Barnhart to comprise the Reds’ top two catchers, and they’d try to pass the out-of-options Rob Brantly through waivers.
- Despite his $20MM salary, Giants righty Matt Cain isn’t a shoo-in to win the last spot in their rotation, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link). The 30-year-old combined for a 5.70 ERA over 150 innings in the previous two seasons, and he has pitched to an even uglier 8.10 ERA in 20 spring frames. Southpaw Ty Blach will take the role if Cain doesn’t. Blach, 26, debuted in the majors last season and gave up a mere two earned runs on eight hits in 17 innings.
- Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez, who has been dealing with a right hand contusion this spring, will probably start the season on the disabled list, tweets Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times. Baez is the Dodgers’ top righty setup man, having tossed a career-high 74 innings and logged a 3.04 ERA and 10.09 K/9 against 2.68 BB/9 last season. Sergio Romo figures to serve as the main right-handed bridge to closer Kenley Jansen until Baez returns.