Matt Harvey takes the mound on Wednesday against the Marlins in his second game since Tommy John surgery.PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.
FIRST PITCH: Another Matt Harvey Day already has arrived!
Harvey was perfect against the Detroit Tigers in his first Grapefruit League appearance, retiring all six batters he faced while topping out at 99 mph with his fastball.
Noah Syndergaard again follows Harvey on the mound.
Right-hander Henderson Alvarez starts for Miami.
Wednesday’s news reports:
• Josh Edgin underwent an MRI after confessing to elbow and overall arm “discomfort.” Edgin’s velocity has been down all spring training despite beginning camp in solid shape. Sandy Alderson said late Tuesday that the club had yet to learn the results of the MRI, which was taken in Florida, but undoubtedly is being studied by Mets doctors back in New York.
Edgin missed two weeks beginning in late August of last season because of a bone spur in the elbow. An MRI at the time revealed no ligament damage, the southpaw had said.Adam Rubin/ESPNNewYork.com
Josh Edgin underwent an MRI exam Tuesday because of elbow discomfort.
The development is particularly alarming because the Mets already were struggling to identify a second left-hander in the bullpen. If there is any gravity to Edgin’s injury and he misses the start of the season, it could buoy Scott Rice's chances of making the club. Rice underwent surgery last July 23 to remove a bone spur and move the ulnar nerve in his left elbow. He re-signed on a minor-league deal.
The other internal options: Rule 5 pick Sean Gilmartin and Dario Alvarez. Alvarez, who appeared in four games for the Mets in September, tossed a perfect inning and induced a flyout from Atlanta Braves slugger Freddie Freeman on Tuesday at ESPN Wide World of Sports.
Terry Collins did not even bother to mention Jack Leathersich among the candidates. Leathersich has walked five while recording only four outs in Grapefruit League play.
Sources told ESPNNewYork.com there is “no chance” prospect Steven Matz, a left-hander from Stony Brook on Long Island, begins 2015 in the big-league bullpen. He is ticketed for Triple-A Las Vegas’ rotation.
At the start of camp, Alderson noted there were only two top-tier left-handed relievers available on the free-agent market: Andrew Miller (four years, $36 million with the Yankees) and Zach Duke (three years, $15 million with the Chicago White Sox). At the time, the GM invited critics to compare those costs to the relievers’ track records. Given the rest of the available free-agent field, Alderson added, he preferred a competition among relievers on minor-league deals to anointing one beforehand with a guaranteed contract.
Still, the Mets did not exactly stockpile lefty relief candidates on such minor-league deals.
The lefty relievers who signed as free agents elsewhere on big-league deals include Craig Breslow ($2 million), Neal Cotts ($3 million) and Tom Gorzelanny ($1 million). Ex-Yankee Phil Coke remained available as recently as last week, when he signed on a minor-league deal with the Chicago Cubs.
• Freeman delivered a three-run homer against Bartolo Colon in the third inning and the Braves beat the Mets, 3-2, Tuesday. Trailing by a run, the Mets had two runners aboard with none out in the eighth against ex-Yankee Jose Veras. However, Anthony Recker grounded into a double play and Eric Campbell was retired on a sharp comebacker to Veras as the rally stalled. Read more in the Post and at MLB.com.
J.J. Franco, a second baseman, hit .347 for the Gulf Coast Braves last season after getting drafted in the 38th round out of Brown University.
• The Mets studied a limited group of pitchers who waited 16 to 18 months before returning from Tommy John surgery before devising an innings plan for Harvey, Marc Carig writes in Newsday. Writes Carig:
John Lackey provided one example used in the study. He pitched 215 1/3 innings, including the postseason, for the world champion Red Sox in 2013, his first year after a 17-month rehab from surgery. Lackey bounced back with 211 innings last year in another postseason run for the Cardinals.
The Mets’ belief that it is extra beneficial for Harvey to wait this long to return from Tommy John surgery is not uniformly held. Dr. Glenn Fleisig, who just presented findings at the same MIT Sloan Analytics Conference in Boston that Alderson attended, recently told ESPNNewYork.com that he is aware of no extra benefit for additional time as long as 12 months is taken after surgery to rehab.
Read more on Harvey’s Wednesday start in the Daily News.
• Despite the Toronto Blue Jays losing Long Island native Marcus Stroman for the season to a torn ACL, they are not expected to pursue Dillon Gee in a trade, Joel Sherman reports in the Post. Writes Sherman:
The Blue Jays do not view Dillon Gee as a candidate to acquire, but could wait until late in spring to add depth with an out-of-option starter who will not cost as much, such as the Cubs’ Felix Doubront or the Astros’ Sam Deduno. One long-shot possibility to help at some time is Johan Santana, who is on a minor-league contract, but hasn’t pitched in the majors since Aug. 17, 2012.
• Matt Ehalt in the Record profiles prospect Matt Reynolds, who is expected to open the season as Triple-A Las Vegas’ shortstop. "He’s a grinder. He does all the little things," Backman told Ehalt. "He grew on me a lot." Read more on Reynolds at NJ.com and MLB.com.
• Want to sing the national anthem at the Subway Series game at Citi Field on Sept. 18? The Mets will conduct auditions at the stadium on March 18. Season ticket holders may try out at 9 a.m. Others may begin auditioning at 10 a.m. The first 100 people to arrive at the Hodges VIP entrance on the first-base side are guaranteed a chance. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The audition consists of singing a song other than the national anthem a cappella.
• From the bloggers … Mets Report would like to see more of Fred Wilpon.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
Nice to be back in uniform with the @Mets and had the opportunity to see my son JJ today in Orlando. pic.twitter.com/gtHr4I29DD
— John Franco (@TEAMFRANCO45) March 10, 2015
YOU’RE UP: Who should be the primary lefty reliever in the bullpen if Josh Edgin is unavailable on Opening Day?