Matt Harvey takes the mound for the third time in 2015 Grapefruit League play on Monday.
FORT MYERS, Fla. --
FIRST PITCH: It’s Matt Harvey Day, Act 3.
Harvey faces the Boston Red Sox at 1:05 p.m. Monday in Fort Myers in his third Grapefruit League start since returning from Tommy John surgery (WOR 710 AM). He described himself as "sluggish" in his last outing, but maintained that had to do with the grind of ramping up in spring training rather than anything elbow-specific.
MONDAY'S NEWS REPORTS:
Josh Edgin has decided to have Tommy John surgery this week rather than pursue a more conservative approach. Scouts believe the Mets have to go outside the organization for a left-handed reliever, rather than use an internal candidate among Scott Rice, Sean Gilmartin, Dario Alvarez and Jack Leathersich.
Even pitching coach Dan Warthen acknowledged to an extent that the talent level among the current group is lacking. Asked after Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays about the lack of production from that quartet in spring-training games, Warthen essentially said that’s what would be expected.
"Most of them haven’t had great production anyway," Warthen said. "Scotty Rice just came off of a surgery. He’s still finding release points on his sinker, so a lot of them are below the zone. The rest of them, Dario has not been exactly a strike-thrower, nor has Leathersich. And it’s really our first time with Gilmartin, so I’m still making observations on him."
The Mets have been scouting Baltimore Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz, who is owed $3.2 million this season, according to Dan Martin in the Post. Matusz, 28, had a 3.48 ERA in 51 2/3 innings last season. Left-handed batters hit .223 against him, compared with .277 for right-handed batters.
The Mets are still awaiting doctor David Altchek's opinion on an MRI taken of Zack Wheeler's right elbow, Terry Collins said after Sunday’s game. Collins continued to express no alarm about Wheeler’s condition, because the right-hander had two MRIs during the offseason that supposedly came back clean, and because Wheeler pitched through similar discomfort last season.
Columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post writes:
For those of you who invest dollars and emotions in this team, however, how can you not be concerned? Not because Wheeler is a Met, but rather because he is a pitcher. "This is what happens to pitching," Alderson said. "You see guys going down all over the place."
Harvey is scheduled for 60 pitches and four innings against the Red Sox. With Wheeler’s uncertainty, Harvey takes on even more importance, Anthony McCarron writes in the Daily News. Read more on Harvey in the Post, Newsday, Record, and at NJ.com and MLB.com.
Bartolo Colon surrendered five runs in two innings, and the Mets lost to the Rays, 8-4, Sunday at Charlotte Sports Park. Kirk Nieuwenhuis went 2-for-3 with a walk and RBI to lift his Grapefruit League average to .464. Travis d'Arnaud departed the game experiencing dizziness, which he attributed to insufficient hydration. Lucas Duda manned first base and went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in his second game since returning from an intercostal muscle strain on his left side. Read more at MLB.com.
Anthony DiComo at MLB.com profiles Leathersich, who has gaudy minor-league strikeout numbers but also walks too many batters. "My thing has always been command," Leathersich told DiComo. "I know that. Everybody knows that. I've been working really hard to get that down, and I'm close. I'm closer than I've ever been right now."
BIRTHDAYS: Curtis Granderson turns 34.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
Had a great time shooting the #NYMets wives and their dogs! #Mets #ASPCA #DOGS #MLB #nypost pic.twitter.com/r0Er7oeIre
— Anthony J. Causi (@ACausi) March 15, 2015
YOU’RE UP: How concerned are you now about Zack Wheeler's elbow?