May 08

Mets To Protect Harvey With Friday Return

The Mets are thinking about Friday as a return to the mound for Matt Harvey. He will return to the ballpark tomorrow to make his apologies and pitch again Friday when the Mets are in Milwaukee – away from the prying microphones and cameras that would besiege him at Citi Field.

HARVEY: Looking at Friday. (AP)

HARVEY: Looking at Friday. (AP)

It seemed logical the Mets should start him Wednesday afternoon over Rafael Montero, who can’t find the plate with a GPS, or recently-acquired Tommy Milone.

Instead, this is just another example of the Mets massaging Harvey’s fragile ego; do it in Milwaukee to spare him the boos he’d undoubtedly hear in New York.

C’mon, admit it, if you were going to be at Citi Field Wednesday, part of you would want to stand up and vent your anger at Harvey, the same anger GM Sandy Alderson finally did.

After acquiescing to Harvey’s pettiness and demands since 2013 – from hiding pain in his forearm that eventually lead to Tommy John surgery, to complaining where he would do his rehab, to his innings fiasco in 2015, to missing a World Series workout because he got caught in traffic and it was later discovered he was out partying the night before, to pitching a fit in the dugout to stay in Game 5 of the World Series he eventually kicked away – Alderson finally had enough.

“We have a policy here,” Collins said of Harvey’s for an unexcused absence Saturday. “I thought it was the right thing to do. I know it’s dramatic, but I think any team in baseball would have probably reacted very similarly. And it wasn’t just Matt Harvey. Anybody in that room that misses a day and nobody knows about it, we’ve got to do the same thing.”

Harvey said he developed a migraine headache after golfing and there was a miscommunication of explaining his absence that the Mets weren’t buying.

I’m not either, because how could he not have Alderson’s cell number? Or, Collins? Or trainer Ray Ramirez?

If we’re venturing guesses, I think him being in Ottawa watching the Rangers is as good as any.

Anyway, before Harvey throws his first pitch, he’ll have some groveling to do with his teammates tomorrow afternoon.

“I know one thing about our society: You make a mistake, you stand up, be accountable and move on,” Collins said. “He needs to address the guys. We’ve got to get this behind us. However he wants to go about doing that, I’ll sign on for it.

“We have a good clubhouse. Understand, you’re never going to have 25 that all like each other. But they respect each other and that’s all I want.”

Harvey may have lost that respect and has a long way to go to earn it back.

May 08

Mets Lineup, Vs. Giants, May 8

The Mets attempt to rebound from to the pummeling Giancarlo Stanton gave them, and the embarrassment that has been Matt Harvey’s behavior, tonight at home against San Francisco.

Here’s tonight’s batting order for the Mets:

Michael Conforto, LF: .357 (5-14) lifetime vs. Giants … .545 (6-11) with RISP … hitting .333 with six homers and 15 RBI in the leadoff spot.

T.J. Rivera, 1B: .400 (2-5) lifetime vs. Giants … .333 (3-9) with RISP … hitting .364 in last nine games.

Jay Bruce, RF: .295 (59-200) lifetime vs. Giants … .423 (11-26) with RISP … Hit seven homers with 16 RBI in April.

Wilmer Flores, 3B: .224 (11-49) lifetime vs. Giants … .000 (0-7) with RISP … activated from DL, May 2.

Neil Walker, 2B: .322 (47-146) lifetime vs. Giants … .391 (9-23) with RISP … has 94 homers since 2012, most of any second baseman in NL.

Jose Reyes, SS: .304 (63-207) lifetime vs. Giants … .222 (4-18) with RISP … has reached base in 12 straight games/

Rene Rivera, C: .231 (12-52) lifetime vs. Giants … .500 (5-10) with RISP … hit .429 during last homestand.

Juan Lagares , CF: .283 (15-53) lifetime vs. Giants … .250 (1-4) with RISP … last homer was July 15, 2016 at Philly.

Jacob deGrom, RHP: Is 3-1 with 3.42 ERA lifetime vs. Giants. … Is third in NL with 49 strikeouts. …  Beat Atlanta, 16-5, May 3 in last start.

May 08

Today’s Question: What Will Harvey Say?

The Mets suspended Matt Harvey for three days Sunday and sent him home before he could address the media. When Harvey shows up at Citi Field this afternoon making today’s question an obvious one: What will he say? What is his version of what happened?

HARVEY: Is he walking away from Mets? (AP)

HARVEY: Is he walking away from Mets? (AP)

Of course, there will be the obvious follow-up questions. What does he hope to gain by filing a grievance with the Players Association? Does he believe his relationship with the Mets has been irreparably damaged? Why does controversy always swirl around him? Whom did he try to reach with the Mets? Does he even want to be a Met? What was his golf score Saturday, and was he in a group with Yoenis Cespedes?

I have no idea of what he will say, but considering his track record of controversy since 2013, it is hard to give him benefit of the doubt. Do you think he deserves it?

I wrote as early as 2013 he was becoming a headache, and as soon as the next summer he was wearing out his welcome and the Mets should explore trading him because I didn’t think he would re-sign when he becomes a free agent after the 2018 season and nothing has happened to make me change my mind.

Harvey has always been a me-first diva and has a lot of explaining to do to make me think otherwise. For those who don’t agree with me, well, that’s fine. But, consider this. That the fans, media, manager and general manager, have pretty much let Harvey call his own shots without consequence has lead him to think he can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants.

May 07

The Drama Never Ends With Harvey

For once, the Mets acted quickly when it came to Matt Harvey, suspending their one-time wonder pitcher who is going from future star to supernova. The Mets suspended Harvey for three days today without pay for violating club rules. Left-hander Adam Wilk was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas to replace Harvey and after flying all night was shelled for six runs in the Mets 7-0, one-hit, loss to the Marlins.

HARVEY: He's hiding something. (ESPN)

HARVEY: He’s hiding something. (ESPN)

Not surprisingly, neither GM Sandy Alderson nor manager Terry Collins specified why Harvey was suspended, leading us to wonder on social media. Alderson read a short announcement and did not take questions, leaving Collins alone to address the latest Mets-Harvey soap opera.

“We’ll keep it in-house, the way it’s supposed to be,” Collins said.

Except it won’t stay in-house. It never does.

The Mets obviously knew they would suspend Harvey, Saturday afternoon, but delayed in doing so to give Wilk time to fly in from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Undoubtedly, they had to wait to make the announcement less than three hours before game time in case Wilk didn’t make it on time.

The Mets waited for Harvey to come to Citi Field before telling him he was suspended and sent him home. Of course, he did not address the media.

The club did say the offending incident had nothing to do with an adult sex toy placed in Kevin Plawecki’s locker for the world to see while T.J. Rivera was being interviewed. Multiple reports had Harvey not being at the ballpark Saturday, saying he played golf and came off the course with a migraine headache and there was a miscommunication with the Mets, who disputed that account which further clouds the story.

If it were accurate it would alleviate the drama that always swirls around Harvey. The Mets mislead us before, so it would not be a surprise if it happens again. If the headache story were true, even if there was a screw up in getting the message to the Mets, there likely wouldn’t be a suspension. If the Mets bought into it, even if not true, this story would die down quickly after Harvey apologized.

The bottom line: Do you honestly believe Harvey doesn’t have the cell phone numbers of Alderson, Collins and trainer Ray Ramirez? Even if they didn’t pick up, they would have gotten the message. Even if Harvey was ill, he should have shown up, gotten looked at by the trainers, and be sent home.

Since the Mets are playing hide-and-seek with the truth, let me seek. My guess is instead of working on his pre-game routine prior to a start – shagging flies, looking at film, light throwing, or whatever – he took off for Ottawa, Canada, to watch the Rangers. That’s not a report. It is conjecture because the Mets aren’t giving us the truth.

“There are things that go on that you deal with every day that makes the job difficult, but you know it comes with the territory,” Collins said. “This is one of those. … In order to control things, you’ve sometimes got to make tough decisions.”

With Syndergaard out, Zack Wheeler trying to come back, Rafael Montero on his way out of the rotation, and Robert Gsellman erratic, would the Mets really give up a chance to go for a sweep of the Marlins over a headache?

I’m guessing no.

The greatest ability is dependability and Harvey’s teammates can’t rely on him. That the Mets said their decision was based on a compilation of things with Harvey is indicative of his repeated irresponsibility.

“We’re disappointed,” said Jose Reyes. “We are counting on him.”

“Whatever the reason happens to be, he’s not on the field,” said Curtis Granderson. “There’s a lot of guys that are on the field at this moment in time. We’ll just have to keep moving forward.”

Alderson tried desperately to trade Jay Bruce this winter, and ironically he is rapidly becoming a team spokesman.

“I don’t know if I’d use the word `frustrating,’ ” Bruce said. “There are team policies and when those aren’t followed, action has to be taken. I don’t know any of the details. I just know that Matt’s not here [Saturday].”

However, this won’t end with a simple apology to his teammates, because Harvey’s camp said a grievance would be filed with the Players Association against the Mets.

Yes, that will smooth things over.

May 07

Mets Wrap: Harvey Puts Onus On Wilk

In his April 27 start against Atlanta to replace the injured Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey complained he wasn’t given enough time to prepare.

So, what did Harvey do?

WILK: Put in tough spot. (AP)

WILK: Put in tough spot. (AP)

He did the same thing to Adam Wilk, but on a larger, more selfish scale. With Harvey suspended for three days without pay, the Mets had to call up Wilk, who took the Red Eye from Albuquerque, New Mexico and arrived in New York at 8:45 this morning.

“It was pretty interesting,” Wilk told reporters of his Magical Mystery Tour itinerary that started in Las Vegas and went to Denver to Albuquerque to Los Angeles to New York.

“I tried to get as much sleep as I could. I don’t want to make any excuses; I didn’t make good enough pitches. … I wouldn’t say I was off. I put everything into it that I had.”

Wilk gave up six runs – five earned – in 3.2 innings. His stint including giving up a pair of home runs to Giancarlo Stanton and one to Adeiny Hechavarria.

The Mets supported their newest teammate with all of one hit as they were shut out for the first time this year.

A likely scenario for Wilk is to be optioned back to Vegas.

METS EXTEND SEWALD: A day after saying he couldn’t afford to use his relievers for more than one inning, Collins stayed with Paul Sewald for at least two innings. Sewald gave the Mets 3.1 innings today, throwing 59 pitches.

With Sewald not likely to pitch for at least two games, don’t be surprised if they send him back to Vegas.

POSITIVE CABRERA NEWS: Mets GM Sandy Alderson said the MRI taken on Asdrubal Cabrera’s injured left thumb showed no ligament damage. This makes it likely he’ll have a shorter recovery time meaning top prospect Amed Rosario will not be brought up.

“The good news is it doesn’t have any tear,” Collins said.

The Mets have not yet put Cabrera on the disabled list, meaning they’ll play shorthanded. With the 10-day disabled list available to them, this could be a questionable decision by Alderson.

By not calling up Rosario prior to June, he will become a Super 2, it means he will be eligible for four years of salary arbitration instead of three.

As of now, the plan is to use Jose Reyes at shortstop and Wilmer Flores at third base.

FLUSHING POWER: Stanton’s two homers gave him 20 hit at Citi Field, which prompted Gary Cohen to pose this trivia question: Stanton’s 20 ties him with Yoenis Cespedes, but who are the seven players with more homers?

Answer: Lucas Duda, David Wright, Curtis Granderson, Ike Davis, Flores and Reyes.

METS CLAIM PITCHER: The Mets claimed left-hander Tommy Milone on waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers.

In six games, three of them starts, Milone is 1-0 with a 6.43 ERA and an astounding 1.476 WHIP. He’s not exactly a power pitcher, with 16 strikeouts in 21 innings.

“`His background is as a starting pitcher, so we’ll look at that,” Collins said.

It is presumed he will replace Rafael Montero in the rotation.

UP NEXT: Here’s the rotation for the Mets-Giants series, starting Monday at Citi Field.

Monday, 7:10 p.m., Jacob deGrom (2-1, 3.68) vs. LHP Matt Moore (1-4, 6.75); Tuesday, 7:10 p.m., Zack Wheeler (1-2, 4.78) vs. RHP Jeff Samardzjia (0-4, 5.03); Wednesday, 1:10 p.m., TBA vs. Matt Cain (2-1, 4.70).

There exists a possibility Harvey might come off his three-day suspension to start in place of Rafael Montero, but Collins would not commit to that.

ON DECK LATER TODAY: More on Harvey.