Mets Matters: Matt Harvey Starts; Pedro Feliciano Sidelined

Matt Harvey gets the ball today against the Houston Astros of the American League at Kissimmee. That just sounds odd. The Mets and Astros were born in 1962 to the National League. (There will be a separate post on that later). For them to be in the AL West doesn’t look right.

Harvey is the Mets’ prized prospect and made a strong first impression during ten starts last year. Not only does he have the physical tools and the stuff, but he showed a willingness to challenge hitters and showed a composure beyond his years.

HARVEY: Goes today vs. Houston (AP)

HARVEY: Goes today vs. Houston (AP)

Travis d’Arnaud will make the trip, as will outfielders Collin Cowgill and Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

Meanwhile, the rest of the team will stay back to play the University of Michigan, Fred Wilpon’s alma mater.

Jonathan Niese and Dillon Gee will pitch in that game. For Gee, it will be his first game since undergoing surgery last summer to repair an artery in his pitching shoulder. Gee began throwing last September and said he doesn’t have any concerns.

David Wright has the day off. He will play in three more exhibition games before leaving for the World Baseball Classic next Saturday.

FELICIANO OUT TWO WEEKS: The Mets know Pedro Feliciano has a heart issue, but won’t know the severity or have an accurate diagnosis until he wears a heart monitor for two weeks.

GM Sandy Alderson told ESPN and other reporters in Port St. Lucie doctors are trying to determine if he has a hole in his heart.

“The doctors have asked that he be monitored over the next couple of weeks,’’ Alderson said. “And so he will be hooked up to a telemeter and monitored over the next two weeks.

“Until that time, we won’t really have a diagnosis. With respect to his comment that he has a hole in his heart, I don’t think that’s clear at this point. I think that what we need to do is wait over the next couple of weeks, until there’s a final diagnosis. At this point we don’t have a diagnosis, per se. And so it’s a little preliminary.’’

The heart is always a tricky matter, so caution – even to an excess- is unquestionably the right call.

From a baseball perspective, this hurts Feliciano’s chances of joining Josh Edgin as a lefty in the bullpen. The Mets prefer not to carry only one lefty, and would likely choose between Robert Carson – who had some success with them last year – Scott Rice, Darin Gorski or Aaron Laffey. There is also the chance orf picking up a waived veteran at the end of spring training.

The Mets won’t rush Feliciano physically and there’s no reason to push him if he’s not effective even if he’s been medically cleared. The likely scenario is for him to have extended spring training and join the team during the season.

NOTE: I’ll have another post later today.


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