Oh, wow, it's August already, huh? Four months into the season, let’s check on which Mets prospects have changed their prospect stock. We did this routine in May and June.

1. RHP Noah Syndergaard

Stock: Still the best in the system

After an injury-marred June, Thor seems to have turned a corner as July has come to a close. He's allowed one earned run or fewer in three of his last four starts. Overall, in those four, he has a 3.27 ERA in 23 1/3 innings with 26 strikeouts against eight walks against the 99 batters he's faced. It now seems possible, if not probable, that he will make his big league debut sometime in 2014.

He, Wally Backman and Frank Viola talked to Jared Diamond about his learning curve in Triple-A.

2. C Travis d’Arnaud

Stock: Up.

Travis d'Arnaud finished July at .272/.314/.481 with 10 extra-base hits in 21 games in the month. He's sitting at .288/.327/.500 in his 27 games since returning from his Triple-A exile. He's doing much better. He still has to learn a little more strike zone control as in those 27 games he's struck out 20 times and walked just five in 110 PA. There's nothing wrong with a strikeout rate of 18 percent - actually, that's really good - but a walk rate of 4.5 percent is just not going to cut it.

3. RHP Rafael Montero

Stock: In neutral

Coming off a left oblique strain on June 14, Montero made the full rehab tour stopping in with both complex affiliates in the GCL and the Florida State League, before returning to Triple-A on July 20. In his three starts this month in Triple-A, he allowed six runs on 14 hits in 15 2/3 innings with six walks and 15 strikeouts. That's solid, but hardly dominant. His 6 2/3 shutout innings on the final day of the month seems like a step in the right direction, however.

4. OF Cesar Puello

Stock: Down

Since coming off the disabled list on July 6, Puello hit a solid .282/.404/.513 in 15 games in the month with strike zone control - as he earned four walks against nine strikeouts. However, he started 13 of the 51s 24 games since his return. He lost playing time to a red-hot Matt den Dekker, Andrew Brown, Anthony Seratelli and Cory Vaughn. Even in Triple-A, plate appearances and innings pitched are investments in a team's big league future. The Mets are clearly choosing not to invest in Puello.

5. INF Wilmer Flores

Stock: Looking for an opening

He can hit in Triple-A, but he's still trying to prove he can do it in the big leagues. If the Mets were willing to move him around to all four of first, second, third and short in the big leagues (and use him as a platoon replacement for Lucas Duda — a career .215/.294/.323 batter vs. LHP — at first) he could start 4-6 games a week.

6. CF Brandon Nimmo

Stock: Up.

After finishing up the first half at .322/.448/.458 in the Florida State League, Nimmo earned his promotion to Double-A Binghamton. After a slow start, he's hit .243/.355/.447 in July with four homers and 18 walks against 25 strikeouts in 27 games. He's fine. Actually, he's better than fine, he's doing very well at age 21.

7. LHP Steven Matz

Stock: Up

Matz was roughed up a bit in his last start of the month, but he finished July with a 3.03 ERA in 29 2/3 innings with 24 (19.5 percent) strikeouts against six walks (4.9 percent). He's working on improving his curveball. As long as he's healthy, Mets fans should see him in 2015, or if there's a need in the rotation, September 2014 is a possibility too.

8. 1B Dominic Smith

Stock: Resting comfortably

Smith hit .292/.375/.333 in 26 games in July with 14 walks (12.5 percent) against 15 strikeouts (13 percent). He's doing everything good hitters do - making contact, walking and not striking out - except for hitting for power. Obviously, hitting for power is part of the job description at first, but Smith is 19 and playing in a huge ballpark to rightfield.

9. SS Amed Rosario

Stock: Unchanged

Rosario hit .286/.330/.371 in 27 games in July in the New York Penn League which is pretty close to his full-season line in the league of .289/.335/.380 in 44 games as a Cyclone as an 18-year-old. He's striking out in only 15 percent of his plate appearances, which is strong.

10. 2B Dilson Herrera

Stock: Up.

He just keeps hitting. In 26 games in July, he hit .340/.402/.585, with 14 extra-base hits. Sure, there's lots of batting average in there, but also a .245 isolated slugging percentage. In 37 games in Double-A, he's at .344/.404/.556. I wrote about the 20-year-old at more length here.

11. C Kevin Plawecki

Stock: Up

In a July in which he got to play in the Futures Game, Plawecki has hit .310/.383/.452 in 13 games for the 51s. He's run a 6/7 BB/K ratio in 18 games in Triple-A. The Mets have a good situation with d'Arnaud figuring it out at the big league level, and Plawecki progressing behind him. The Mets seem pleased by his progress defensively as we discussed here.

12. SS Gavin Cecchini

Stock: Oh, boy.

Cecchini earned a promotion after the first half from Savannah to advanced Single-A St. Lucie at age 20, where he has struggled, hitting .191/.246/.260 in 37 games. Some of that is BABIP - he's down to .219. But he's also not hitting for any power as evidenced by his .069 isolated slugging percentage and his 3.5 percent extra-base hit rate. Basically, he'll be repeating the FSL next year at age 21.

We discussed him in the mid-season promotion feature. In short, there’s a big leaguer in here, but his bat will have to keep improving for me to think there’s an above average everyday guy.

13. RHP Gabriel Ynoa

Stock: Up

Ynoa has been a little up and down in Double-A, but it's all worked out to a 4.08 ERA in 28 2/3 innings over five starts. He's been hittable, with 38 hits allowed and a .309 batting average against. Just 21, there might be a fly-ball oriented rotation piece in here. Our feature on him is here.

14. RHP Michael Fulmer

Stock: Slipping

In his last five starts, Fulmer owns a 2.22 ERA over 28 2/3 innings, but that overstates how well he's pitched as he's allowed six unearned runs to run his total r/9 to 4.13. However, in those five, he's fanned 30 and walked 10 for a 24 percent strikeout rate and an 8 percent walk rate, which are both very solid. So, maybe he's starting to figure it out.

15. RHP Vic Black

Stock: Up and gone.

He’s a big leaguer now.

16. RHP Jacob deGrom

Stock: Up and gone.

He’s a big leaguer now.

17. RHP Domingo Tapia

Stock: Down.

Well under the radar, Tapia put together a very solid July: 2.35 ERA, 23 IP, 21 H, 9 BB, 17 K. I still think he's a reliever in the end, but that's nice progress from a guy who had walked 31 and fanned 23 in his first three months. I love the arm, and who wouldn’t like 96-98 mph with sink and run?

18. RHP Jeff Walters

Stock: Down

Walthers, who was added to the 40-man roster in the fall, was ineffective in Triple-A and then had Tommy John surgery.

19. RHP Cory Mazzoni

Stock: Down

Mazzoni's rehab tour took him from the GCL to advanced Single-A to Triple-A. In three starts with the 51s, he's been wild: 14.1 IP, 15 H, 11 R, 9 ER, 10 BB, 8 K. Yeah, that's more walks than strikeouts. Not good. Maybe there's a big league reliever in here.

20. LHP Jack Leathersich

Stock: Barely holding

Still putting up big strikeout numbers in Double-A, while repeating the level.

21. RHP Luis Mateo

Stock: Same

Mateo's Tommy John rehab tour has stalled in Brooklyn where at last check, he was throwing "lots" of 89-90 mph fastballs.

22. CF Champ Stuart

Stock: Up

The 21-year-old hit .271/.358/.357 in 20 games in July in which he dealt with some relatively minor nagging injuries including a hip flexor and a pitch off his hand. Oh, and he was 11-for-11 stealing bases in the month. He might be the fastest player in the Mets' system now, which gives him a chance to really impact a game on the base paths and defensively in center.

I wrote about Stuart here and here.

Personal note: I enjoy watching Stuart run.

23. OF Ivan Wilson

Stock: Slipping

Wilson is big and strong, but strikes out a ton. In 22 games in July, he hit .256/.323/.360 in Kingsport with 38 strikeouts. Until he can cut down on the strikeouts, he's more great athlete, than really good baseball prospect.

His profile, about his adjustments, big and small, is here.

24. RHP Luis Cessa

Stock: Down

Meh. He was ok in July (23 IP, 4.70 ERA, 18 K, 6 BB) but he's been ok for most of the year. It's hard to project a big league future for Cessa, although he should make it up to AA and even AAA at some point.

25. RHP Robert Gsellman

Stock: Up

Gsellman was effective in five July starts: 2.93 ERA, 30.2 IP, 13 R, 10 ER, 11 BB, 30 K.

His is a funny profile as a fastball/changeup righty. Still, at 90-92, touching 93/94 with a big body and feel for a changeup, it’s not hard to imagine Gsellman in a MLB rotation. he found the curveball in his last two starts and was untouchable: 14.2 IP, 12 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 16 K. Do it again, and again, and again, and I'll believe and send him shooting up the list.

26. RHP Chris Flexen

Stock: Down

Just when he was starting to figure it out, he heads under the knife to have bone chips removed and for Tommy John surgery.

27. RHP Casey Meisner

Stock: Down

Keith Law saw Meisner pitch for Brooklyn, and was unimpressed: "Meanwhile, Brooklyn starter Casey Meisner was awful, throwing 87-91 mph with an above-average curveball but no command or deception."

In five starts in July, Meisner gave up 20 runs, 16 earned in 16.1 innings with eight walks and 20 strikeouts on 27 hits. Ouch.

28. RHP Andrew Church

Stock: Down

Last year's second round pick gave up 25 hits in 18 innings in Kingsport in July and 16 runs, nine of which were earned while only striking out 11. In six starts for the K-Mets, he's allowed 42 hits in 26.2 innings.

As I wrote in June, "I got a look at Church in Kingsport, Tennessee on June 23, and the word I kept coming back to, as I watched his first star of 2014 was “flat.” Kingsport Manager Jose Leger and Pitching Coach Jonathan Hurst also called his stuff “flat” as well. The Mets’ second round pick in 2013 out of high school in Nevada sat 90-91. His changeup was firm at 83-84 and he used a slurvy slider at 79-ish sparingly. I thought he lost his release point at times as he dropped his arm. Church is not physically imposing at 6’2″, but he will pitch the entire season as a 19-year old."

29. C Juan Centeno

Stock: Unchanged

He’s still a low-end backup catcher. And he even got six games in the big leagues already this year to prove it! Now, he's back in Double-A.

30. SS Wilfredo Tovar

Stock: Unchanged.

Thumb surgery in June interrupted his season when he was hitting .313/.377/.373, 47 games in. He's rehabbing in St. Lucie and should be back up to Binghamton in short order.

31. 2B LJ Mazzilli

Stock: Holding, barely

Promoted from Savannah, Mazzilli hit .265/.318/.398 in 25 games for St. Lucie in 25 games in July in his age-23 season, so he's sitting at .281/.338/.444 in 35 games in advanced Single-A. He need to get hot in August to move up this list.

He says some advice from Yogi Berra in early May helped turn around his season. Scouts describe his work at second as mechanical, but he he’s on pace to start 2015 in Double-A.

32. OF Jared King

Stock: Down

A broken fibula has kept King out from May 11 to July 4. When he was healthy, the Mets promoted him from Savannah to St. Lucie where he's hit a punchless .239/.316/.268 in 20 games.

33. RHP Erik Goeddel

Stock: Down

Goeddel pitched better in July: 13.2 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 15 K after nasty control problems earlier this year. With a good August, as a 40-man guy, he might get a big league look in September.

34. CF Matt den Dekker

Stock: Same

den Dekker had a monster July in Vegas, hitting .420/.508/.630 in 29 games. He'll be 27 in August. This is his peak.

35. OF Cory Vaughn

Stock: Down

In 17 games in Triple-A, he hit .180/.281/.280 in July to take his overall line in Vegas to .229/.327/.328 in 39 games. Yup, he's playing over Cesar Puello some nights for some reason.

36. RHP Logan Verrett

Stock: Down

His July saw him allow seven home runs in 30 innings over five starts on his way to a 5.10 ERA. This could be Luis Cessa's future.

37. RHP Akeel Morris

Stock: Up, but only a little

I know in theory what he's doing in Savannah - working to repeat his delivery to refine his command and improving his curveball. However, he could probably be doing those things in advanced Single-A against better competition. For the year, he's run a 0.78 ERA in 46 innings with 72 strikeouts against 18 walks.

38. RHP Ricardo Jacquez

Stock: Down

He’s injured, and was back in Texas.

39. RHP Bret Mitchell

Stock: Down

He was injured and then walked nine in 11 innings in the Florida State League and now he’s back in the SAL where he's been largely effective with 14 strikeouts in 9.1 innings in July.

40. 3B Pedro Perez

Stock: Down

After a slow start, he hit .272/.378/.446 in 26 games in July in Kingsport while playing more games at first than third. That move across the diamond cuts into his value in a big way.

41. SS Luis Guillorme

Stock: Up, a little

His July: .253/.324/.295. A slick defender, he's never going to hit for much pop.

Tags: Hot Sheet, Toby Hyde

St. Lucie Mets first baseman Peter Alonso connects for a two-run double in the second inning against the Florida Fire Frogs at First Data Field. (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
St. Lucie Mets first baseman Peter Alonso connects for a two-run double in the second inning against the Florida Fire Frogs at First Data Field. (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

23-year-old Mets 1B prospect Peter Alonso is off to a scorching start for Double-A Binghamton.

Alonso, who played 11 games for Binghamton last season after playing 82 games for High-A St. Lucie, is hitting .357/.456/.625 with three HR, six doubles, and 10 RBI in 16 games (56 at-bats). In his three-year minor league career, Alonso has hit .303/.375/.548 with 26 HR in 139 games across three levels.

While Dominic Smith is still ahead of Alonso on the depth chart -- and hitting .246/.386/.439 with two HR in 16 games this season for Triple-A Las Vegas -- Alonso should not be overlooked. 

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Apr 24, 2018; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) celebrates with right fielder Jay Bruce (19) after the Mets defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in ten innings at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Curry)
Apr 24, 2018; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) celebrates with right fielder Jay Bruce (19) after the Mets defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in ten innings at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Curry)

Tuesday night's 6-5, come-from-behind win against the Cardinals was so far my favorite game of the year. It helps that it occurred in St. Louis, which is always a bonus...

The Mets have had more exciting finishes than this in 2018. However, their relentless, creative fight Tuesday night was fun to watch, but also inspiring. And it validated my belief that, when all is said and done, these guys will have completed a very special season.

I've been told manager Mickey Callaway has been pressing to the team, and through his veterans and coaches, that success is borne out of preparation and opportunity. So, whether they're hitting well or not, or pitching well or not, as long as they're prepared each day and always working to create opportunities, their collective talent will find a way to win...

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Apr 24, 2018; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches during the third inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Curry)
Apr 24, 2018; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches during the third inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Curry)

Mets RHP Zack Wheeler allowed four runs on six hits in four innings on Tuesday night against the Cardinals.

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | Wheeler's struggles on Tuesday -- he induced just three swings and misses and couldn't make it past the fourth inning -- provided a reminder of why the team was initially reluctant to remove Matt Harvey from the rotation. Wheeler's body of work this year has hardly been enough to convince the Mets that it's safe to rely on him full-time.

But Harvey was bad enough in Atlanta to earn the demotion, and the Mets were left to hope that Wheeler could stay hot. They knew it wasn't a safe bet, but had no other choice.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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Apr 24, 2018; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Matt Harvey (33) pitches during the fifth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Curry)
Apr 24, 2018; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Matt Harvey (33) pitches during the fifth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Curry)

Mets RHP Matt Harvey opted not to speak to reporters following his relief debut in the Mets' 6-5 win over the Cardinals in extra innings on Wednesday night.

Tags: Matt Harvey
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Cadillac Post Game Extra 00:01:50
Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez discuss Jay Bruce's performance in the Mets' extra-inning win.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about tonight's game...

1) Jay Bruce's solo homer with two outs in the top of the 10th inning lifted the Mets to their Major League-best 10th come-from-behind win of the season. It was his second long ball of the year and first since April 5, a span of 47 at-bats. Bruce also had an RBI triple and collected three of the Mets' six hits while falling a double shy of hitting for the cycle.

 

Tags: Jay Bruce, Yoenis Cespedes, Zack Wheeler
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Apr 11, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets pinch hitter Adrian Gonzalez (23) connects for a two run RBI single in the eighth inning against the Miami Marlins during a MLB game at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Apr 11, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets pinch hitter Adrian Gonzalez (23) connects for a two run RBI single in the eighth inning against the Miami Marlins during a MLB game at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

The Mets picked up Adrian Gonzalez in order to buy Dominic Smith more development time in the minors -- a prescient move as Smith missed most of Spring Training due to injury. But Gonzalez has struggled so far. And though the team has a good record, it's questionable how long they can carry this kind of a hole at first base.

There are a few silver linings to Gonzalez's start. His .345 OBP is solid and he has more walks than strikeouts. His batting average is under .240, but he has timed his few hits well, knocking in multiple key runs. He has clearly improved over his injury-filled 2017, where he amassed just a .642 OPS.

Compared to last year, his .737 OPS is quite serviceable, but he is missing a key aspect of his game -- the power hitting. He has two home runs and one double on the year and that's a hard level of production to carry at first base, which is still an offense-first position around the league. Carrying a low-power first baseman, something Smith may turn out to be, is possible, but only if he brings value in a high average and solid defense -- two things we are not seeing from Gonzalez so far.

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Apr 13, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) celebrates after hitting a home run in the second inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 13, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) celebrates after hitting a home run in the second inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Mets (14-6) open a three-game series against the Cardinals (13-8) at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Tuesday night at 8:15.

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Mar 1, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (40) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Mar 1, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (40) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Mets LHP Jason Vargas will return from the 10-day DL to start against the Padres on Saturday in San Diego, manager Mickey Callaway confirmed on Tuesday.

Vargas allowed three runs and three hits in four innings in his first and only rehab start with Triple-A Las Vegas on Monday night at Cashman Field.

He retired five of the first six hitters he faced before giving up three runs and three doubles in the third inning. He recorded two of his four strikeouts in a 1-2-3 fourth inning. 

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BNNY: Harvey available from 'pen 00:07:01
The Baseball Night in New York panel discusses Mets manager Mickey Callaway stating Matt Harvey may be available out of the bullpen Tuesday.

No one said it would be easy for Matt Harvey, who had a rib removed in 2016 to help correct Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in the right side of his upper body. The moment he went under the knife he put himself on a rocky, unpredictable road that has not ended well for similar pitchers before him...

TOS is the compression of the nerves and blood vessels that run from the spinal cord in the neck, under the collarbone and down the arm. In most cases, initial symptoms include muscle atrophy, numbness, tingling in the arm, and a struggle to grip things, such as a baseball.

There is an additional stress put on this intersection of nerves when the arm is raised and extended, such as when throwing a baseball.

Tags: Matt Harvey, Matthew Cerrone
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Mar 29, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) scores a run on New York Mets left Fielder Yoenis Cespedes (not pictured) rbi single during the 5th inning of the game on opening day at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Mar 29, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) scores a run on New York Mets left Fielder Yoenis Cespedes (not pictured) rbi single during the 5th inning of the game on opening day at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

The debut of top prospect Amed Rosario was a bright spot in an otherwise dreary 2017 for the Mets, but his performance at the plate had some red flags. This year, he's showing some real promise in addressing his biggest concerns. And while he isn't yet tearing the cover off the ball, he's already showing the growth the Mets need from him.

Rosario's patience at the plate last season was almost impossibly poor. In 46 games, he drew just three walks, with a walk rate under 2 percent that ranked him dead last in the majors among players with at least 100 plate appearances. In just 18 games so far this year, he's already matched his walk total from last year. He has dropped his swing percentage significantly -- particularly on pitches outside the zone -- and lowered his swinging strike rate from a lofty 18 percent to a more manageable 13 percent.

While the walks are steadily improving, Rosario has made only a small dent in his strikeout rate, which is still well above average. He wasn't always a strikeout machine in the minors, so as he continues to train his eye against major league pitching, he may refine his game further. At 22 years old, he is still very raw in this regard, but the increase in contact he has shown is a good sign...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Maggie Wiggin
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Apr 3, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey (33) pitches in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Apr 3, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey (33) pitches in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Hall-of-Famer John Smoltz, who was a dominant force in the bullpen after moving there from the starting rotation late in his career, says it's too soon to write off Matt Harvey.

"I don't think it's fair to write off a Matt Harvey if not given the opportunity to have enough time to go through this," Smoltz told Kristie Ackert of the NY Daily News. "That's the dilemma. What is that time frame you are willing to deal with in that organization? A new manager who has seen in Cleveland this work for an array of guys. He believes this will work for Matt. Now, it's up to Matt to believe it."

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | The whole Matt Harvey situation is a convoluted one, but I want to first comment on what former Mets RHP Bob Ojeda recently said about Harvey -- that what's happened to him is "truly his own fault." No, Bob, it's not.

Tags: Matt Harvey
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All season long, Fios, the 100% fiber-optic network, is bringing superfans closer to their Mets thanever before.

Not only do you get an amazin' HD picture so every game feels like you're in Citi Field, but now, every Tuesday home games, Fios customers can enter for a chance to win Mets tickets, exclusive access and experiences at Citi Field through the SNY Superfan Sweepstakes, courtesy of Fios.

For official rules and to enter, visit sny.tv/fios.  

No purchase necessary.

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Apr 4, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pinch hitter Wilmer Flores (4) is congratulated after scoring a run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Apr 4, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pinch hitter Wilmer Flores (4) is congratulated after scoring a run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Is it time for Wilmer to be the everyday first baseman?

I think so, yes. First off, in 55 plate appearances, Adrian Gonzalez is batting .239 with a .345 OBP and .391 slugging percentage, most of which have come against right-handed hitters. He still has a good eye, and he knows his strike zone, but it has been more than a year since he's had any sort of punch to his bat. 

Meanwhile, though he has played in 18 games, Wilmer Flores has started just seven, but all of them have been at first base. In that time, he's hitting .263 with four extra base hits, five RBI and is on pace (mostly as a bench player) to be a 1.5 WAR player this season, according to FanGraphs...

Tags: Matt Harvey, Wilmer Flores, Matthew Cerrone
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New York Mets' Matt Harvey (33) delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Mets' Matt Harvey (33) delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | Mets RHP Matt Harvey is "at a 10 with being pissed off" about his move to the bullpen, and views it as somewhere he can get his "sh*t" together. 

While he's out there, though -- whether it's short-term or long-term -- will it lead to increased velocity and actual success?

Harvey hasn't been the same since he pitched through Thoracic Outlet syndrome in 2016 (when he couldn't feel his fingers) and returned from surgery for the issue in 2017 -- a return he later said he might have rushed.

Tags: Matt Harvey, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Danny Abriano
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New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway signals to a player during the fourth inning of the baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field, Wednesday, April 4, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway signals to a player during the fourth inning of the baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field, Wednesday, April 4, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

The Mets are 14-6, but they're only one loss better than the Phillies. To be honest, Philadelphia is a concern. Rhys Hoskins is a legit MVP candidate and Carlos Santana, though he hasn't hit much, is clearly setting a nice example and approach for the rest of the lineup. That said, I think their pitching is overachieving. And, as a young team, the long season will likely do them in eventually. For now, though, they're a threat...

Meanwhile, the Mets have issues, despite their hot start. Like it or not, they've lost five of their last eight games and are in the middle of a cross-country travel schedule...

Here are three questions and answers to mull over during Monday's off day...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Harvey's move to the bullpen 00:07:13
Mets reporter Steve Gelbs joins Baseball Night in New York to discuss the team's decision to move Matt Harvey to the bullpen.

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | Of all that was said about Matt Harvey over the past week, one quote stuck with me above all others. Here's pitching coach Dave Eiland talking to Matt Ehalt of The Record on Saturday:

"If he wants to be on this team, he has to do what's asked of him to help this team win. If he wants to continue his career, he's going to have to go out and pitch, and pitch well."

If he wants to be on this team?

Tags: Matt Harvey, Andy Martino
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Apr 20, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Robert Gsellman (65) reacts with shortstop Amed Rosario (1) after scoring the go ahead run against the Atlanta Braves during the twelfth inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports  (Dale Zanine)
Apr 20, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Robert Gsellman (65) reacts with shortstop Amed Rosario (1) after scoring the go ahead run against the Atlanta Braves during the twelfth inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterIt was not the best of weeks in Mets Land.

From Monday night's embarrassment to redeeming themselves on Wednesday night to going back to losing in heartbreaking fashion on Saturday night, this week was not the best. I won't get into the nitty gritty as who wants to re-live Wendesday night's horrific eighth inning? Or Saturday night's game where Jeurys Familia pulled a Familia. Jacob deGrom deserved better.

Instead, let's chat about Wednesday night's game. The come-from-behind win. The eighth inning rally. That was a defining moment, as I already discussed (or at least I thought it was before seeing Saturday's game). Wednesday night's game was one that they would not have won last season. Oh, and Yoenis Cespedes showed us that he refused to let the Nationals sweep his team, and hit a grand slam to add on some insurance runs...

Tags: David Wright, Jacob deGrom, Jay Bruce, Jeurys Familia, Jose Reyes, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Yoenis Cespedes, Michelle Ioannou
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New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler winds up during the first inning of against the Washington Nationals. (AP)
New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler winds up during the first inning of against the Washington Nationals. (AP)

Mets starting pitchers will be pushed back a day after Sunday's game against the Braves was postponed due to weather.

Zack Wheeler will pitch on Tuesday in the series opener against the Cardinals; Steven Matz, who was slated to start on Tuesday, will pitch on Wednesday night; and Noah Syndergaard will pitch in the series finale on Thursday afternoon. 

Jacob deGrom would then be in line to pitch against the Padres on Friday evening.

 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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Apr 22, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves grounds crew covers the field in the rain prior to the game against the New York Mets at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hagy)
Apr 22, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves grounds crew covers the field in the rain prior to the game against the New York Mets at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hagy)

Sunday's series finale between the Mets and Braves has been postponed due to weather.

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Apr 20, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) is congratulated by manager Mickey Callaway (36) after scoring a run against the Atlanta Braves during the third inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports  (Dale Zanine)
Apr 20, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) is congratulated by manager Mickey Callaway (36) after scoring a run against the Atlanta Braves during the third inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)

The Mets (14-6) will complete their four-game series against the Braves (12-8) in Atlanta on Sunday afternoon at 1:35 p.m. ET.

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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Cadillac Post Game Extra: 4/21 00:01:28
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling discuss the sub-par performance of the Mets' bullpen in the team's 4-3 loss on Saturday night.

 (Adam Hagy)
(Adam Hagy)

Mets RHP Jacob deGrom limited the Braves to just four hits in seven scoreless innings on Saturday night.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Apr 3, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey (33) tries to stay warm prior to the start of the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Apr 3, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey (33) tries to stay warm prior to the start of the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Matt Harvey will be moving to the bullpen, according to Mickey Callaway.

With Jason Vargas' return from the DL imminent, Callaway was faced with a decision on who to drop from the starting rotation. Harvey, after giving up six runs in six innings against the Braves on Thursday night, will be moving to the bullpen. 

"I need to get my s--t together," Harvey said...

Tags: Matt Harvey
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Apr 13, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) and left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) celebrate after defeating the Milwaukee Brewers 6-5 at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 13, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) and left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) celebrate after defeating the Milwaukee Brewers 6-5 at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Mets (14-5) take on the Braves (11-8) in Atlanta on Saturday night at 7:10 p.m.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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Feb 21, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Gerson Bautista (63) poses during photo day at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Feb 21, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Gerson Bautista (63) poses during photo day at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

The Mets have optioned RHP Gerson Bautista to Triple-A Las Vegas and recalled RHP Corey Oswalt.

Bautista, 22, has allowed two runs over 2.1 innings (7.71 ERA) with the Mets this season on three hits and four walks. With Double-A Binghamton, Bautista hasn't given up a run in five innings with 11 strikeouts. 

Oswalt, 24, hasn't made an appearance in the majors in his career. This season with Triple-A Las Vegas, Oswalt has given up three runs in nine innings (3.00 ERA) with 12 strikeouts.

Oswalt and the Mets take on the Braves on Saturday night at 7:10 p.m.

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 (Patrick Gorski)
(Patrick Gorski)

In the Mets exciting 5-3 win over the Braves in 12 innings, Robert Gsellman played the role of hero. 

Gsellman threw two scoreless innings before scoring the game-winning run in the top of the 12th, hustling home from second base on a Yoenis Cespedes single to easily beat Nick Markakis' throw home. 

After the game, feeling confident from the sprint, Gsellman anointed himself one of the fastest pitchers on the Mets. He even went out of his way to say that Noah Syndergaard "is not even close..."

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman
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Apr 5, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view as the sun sets over Citi Field during the second inning between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 5, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view as the sun sets over Citi Field during the second inning between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

This season, thanks to Citi, each time the home run apple goes up at Citi Field, another step is taken in the fight against childhood hunger.

For each Mets home run hit at Citi Field this season, Citi has pledged to donate enough for No Kid Hungry to provide 20,000 meals to kids in need in NYC and throughout the U.S. Learn more about the Citi Community Home Runs program at Mets.com/Citi.  

 

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 (Dale Zanine)
(Dale Zanine)

Though he vowed not to pick up his clubs this season, Yoenis Cespedes may resort to golf to break his early-season slump. 

The Mets' left fielder, who was hitting .208 with 30 strikeouts entering Friday's contest against the Braves, had an RBI single in the top of the 12th to break a 3-3 tie....

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes, Scott Thompson
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Cadillac Post Game Extra 00:01:43
Following the New York Mets' win over the Atlanta Braves, Gary Cohen and Ron Darling discuss the clutch hitting of Yoenis Cespedes.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about tonight's game...

1) Noah Syndergaard took a no-decision as he allowed three earned runs, on seven hits, while striking out six and walking three over six innings. Thor's seven hits allowed is the most he has let up so far this season.

 

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jeurys Familia, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Yoenis Cespedes
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 (Dale Zanine)
(Dale Zanine)

Mets starter Noah Syndergaard couldn't come away with his third win of the season, as the Braves did just enough to tie the game before his exit. 

Atlanta got on the board first as Ozzie Albies turned on a 100-mph fastball from Syndergaard, and lifted it over the right-center field wall for his sixth home run on the year. 

Syndergaard didn't allow a run in the second and third innings, and that could have been the case in the fourth as well. However, Jay Bruce misjudged a line drive to right from Ryan Flaherty, and it soared over his head for an RBI double to cut the Mets' lead to one...

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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Mar 1, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (40) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Mar 1, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (40) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Mets LHP Jason Vargas, who has been pitching in simulated and intrasquad games to avoid fielding due to an injury to his right (non-throwing) hand, will pitch and field in a minor league rehab game on Monday, manager Mickey Callaway said.

Vargas struck out 12 batters in six innings of an intrasquad game on Tuesday in Port St. Lucie. 

If Vargas makes just one minor league rehab start, his return to the Mets -- if it's in the starting rotation -- would be April 28 or a bit after. 

Tags: Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler
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New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler winds up during the first inning of against the Washington Nationals. (AP)
New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler winds up during the first inning of against the Washington Nationals. (AP)

Jason Vargas's progressing recovery from hand surgery this spring had already raised the question of how the team will manage a crowded rotation, but Matt Harvey's struggles as a starter this season have further complicated matters. It seems inevitable that someone will find themselves pitching out of the bullpen by the end of the month, so who is the best fit?

Two weeks ago, the answer would assuredly have been Zack Wheeler. Since the early days of his major league career, many have seen a future reliever in him, perhaps even a closer. Despite strong tools, he's lacked the ability to go deep into games, and to put away batters consistently. He has also battled injuries throughout his career, including an exceptionally long recovery from Tommy John surgery, leading to conjecture that his arm may not be able to handle the work load of a full-time starter.

Even the Mets seemed to have their doubts about Wheeler's future in the rotation, as a shaky spring led to his starting the season in the minor leagues. But his two quality starts since his recall earlier this month have bought him some renewed confidence and certainly another shot to show he can hold up to the trials of a starting pitcher...

Tags: Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Maggie Wiggin
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Jose Reyes hitting a home run against the Reds.  (AP)
Jose Reyes hitting a home run against the Reds. (AP)

Jose Reyes is the first Mets position player since Phil Linz in 1968 to open a season hitless in the first 20 at-bats of the season.

Reyes is 0-for-20. Linz went 0-for-25 before getting his first hit. 

Is Reyes at risk of being designated for assignment? Doug Williams and Andy Martino discussed that question on the Shea Anything podcast...

Tags: Jose Reyes, Danny Abriano
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Apr 5, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) jogs up the firstbase line after hitting a grand slam off Washington Nationals relief pitcher Brandon Kintzler (not pictured) during the seventh inning at Nationals Park. New York Mets defeated Washington Nationals 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Apr 5, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) jogs up the firstbase line after hitting a grand slam off Washington Nationals relief pitcher Brandon Kintzler (not pictured) during the seventh inning at Nationals Park. New York Mets defeated Washington Nationals 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

Mets outfielder Jay Bruce is clearly struggling to deal with plantar fasciitis in his left foot and it's going to need to be addressed sooner than later...

Bruce told reporters that he has dealt with plantar fasciitis on and off during his career.

"It's never really been unbearable where I felt like I had to say something," he explained. "However, April 16, he continued, "It definitely was talking to me a little more than I thought it should be. I'm not really one who likes to take days off, but it's the necessary evil sometimes."

He may have requested his first day off in mid-April, but he missed time for this exact issue in St. Lucie. So, my guess is that they beat it back enough to get him on field for the start of the season, but (unlike he experienced in previous seasons, when he was younger) the issue likely flared up again when being forced to play every day in April.

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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What will Mets do with Harvey? 00:03:48
The Daily News Live panel discusses what the Mets should do with a struggling Matt Harvey, and if a move to the bullpen will come soon.

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Matt Harvey has few allies left in the Mets' organization or fan base. He has long since been a divisive figure among teammates, and his new pitching coach seems to have little use for his postgame explanations.

"The game starts in the first inning, not the fourth," Dave Eiland told reporters in Atlanta Thursday night, after Harvey noted that he was at least able save the bullpen after getting bombed early by the Braves. That general sense of exhaustion and skepticism leaves Harvey with little leverage as the Mets consider whether to let him make his next start, as they are currently doing. A front office's job is to zoom out, remove emotion, and make decisions that work for an entire roster...

Tags: Matt Harvey, Andy Martino
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New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)
New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

We've seen this movie with other pitchers. It begins with potential and helping the team win, but slowly morphs in to a story about one guy, who had success, but is now struggling and only ever speaking about his mechanics, his arm, his velocity, and his health, while limited to only silver linings.

I think of Mike Pelfrey and John Maine, even Pedro Martinez and Johan Santana, all of whom went through a similar cycle, during which each pitcher -- despite previous success -- always ended up spiraling down in to a post-game conversation centered around their personal situation.

The Mets do not need Harvey to be only a pitcher that eats innings and helps save the bullpen from having to pitch starting in the third inning. They are not solely in the business of Matt's personal goals. At 13-5, the Mets are too talented and have too much upside to become the New York Harveys every fifth day...

Tags: Matt Harvey, Matthew Cerrone
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New York Mets' Matt Harvey (33) delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Mets' Matt Harvey (33) delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Former Mets pitcher and SNY analyst Nelson Figueroa is not buying that Matt Harvey had a "breakthrough" while allowing six runs in six innings against the Braves on Thursday night in Atlanta. And with Harvey's rotation spot in jeopardy, Figueroa is not on board with his refusal to discuss any other role but starting pitcher.

"Almost to a fault, they let him be a starting pitcher, even when he was struggling terribly last year," Figueroa said Thursday night on SNY. "Even when he didn't have his best stuff." Regarding the excuses, Figueroa was blunt:

"And we keep hearing, 'I don't have my best stuff, I don't have a feel. I don't have my mechanics.' There's so many little excuses and it's at that point where it's kind of running ragged. I can't really listen to the interviews anymore. And finding positives out of very small, minute things. If I heard that out of Chris Flexen, that my last two innings were pretty good and that's a huge step? Yes, welcome to the big leagues, kid. This is not where Matt Harvey should be thinking and focusing." ......Watch Figueroa's full comments below......

Tags: Matt Harvey
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Callaway on Harvey's future 00:01:05
Mickey Callaway and Matt Harvey spoke after the loss to Atlanta. Callaway said he won't commit to Harvey starting in the foreseeable future.

With Jason Vargas' return from the DL looming, Mickey Callaway won't commit to another Matt Harvey start after his disappointing performance against the Braves on Thursday night. As for Harvey in his postgame interviews, he asserted that he is a starting pitcher.

Over six innings in Atlanta, Harvey allowed six runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and a walk. All six runs came within the first three innings as the Mets stared down a 6-0 deficit early on.

Callaway refused to commit to Harvey's next start at his postgame news conference...

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Cadillac Post Game Extra 00:02:01
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling examine the recent struggles of Mets' right-handed pitcher, Matt Harvey.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about tonight's game...

1) Matt Harvey endured a third consecutive rough outing, allowing six runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out four in six innings. It marked the first time he has recorded an out in the sixth since last May 28. Harvey (0-2) surrendered three runs in the first and three more in the third. He has one win in his last 12 starts dating back to June 2, 2018.

 

Tags: Matt Harvey
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Apr 19, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)
Apr 19, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)

With Jason Vargas set to return from the DL soon, Matt Harvey's time in the rotation might be numbered. He did candidacy to keep his place no favors in his start against the Braves on Thursday night. 

Harvey lasted six innings, giving up six runs on eight hits with a walk and four strikeouts. All of the damage came in the first three innings.

The 29-year-old got off to an inauspicious start as Ender Inciarte and Ozzie Albies kicked off the game with a pair of singles before Freddie Freeman put the Braves on the board with a sacrifice fly. Harvey was able to get the second out of the inning but hung a changeup to Kurt Suzuki who took full advantage with a two-out two-run home run...

Tags: Matt Harvey
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Doug Williams and Andy Martino definitely give a hoot about Keith's tweets as they sit down for another Shea Anything podcast. The guys discuss the bullpen implosion against the Nats and the possibility of an Amed Rosario for J.T. Realmuto trade. Later, Andy pitches Doug on an idea for Baseball Night in New York, and talks about his post on MetsBlog about Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler's tenuous spots in the starting rotation.

Click below to listen...

Tags: Amed Rosario
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Sep 19, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto (11) rounds the bases after hitting a walk off solo home run in the tenth inning against the New York Mets at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Sep 19, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto (11) rounds the bases after hitting a walk off solo home run in the tenth inning against the New York Mets at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

The Mets are 'kicking the tires' on trading for a catcher but aren't having much luck, according to Mike Puma of NY Post.

With Travis d'Arnaud (partially torn UCL) likely out for the season and Kevin Plawecki (fractured hand) out for a few weeks, the Mets have gone from what they hoped would be an effective platoon behind the plate to a crisis. Currently, the Mets have Tomas Nido and Jose Lobaton as their catching options. 

According to Matt Ehalt of The Record, the team has made some calls but they are not willing to overpay. A popular name fans hope the Mets will turn to is Marlins C JT Realmuto, but Ehalt also notes that there is 'some hesitation as to whether Realmuto is actually available.'

Tags: Kevin Plawecki, Travis d'Arnaud
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Apr 13, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) and left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) celebrate at the end of the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 13, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) and left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) celebrate at the end of the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Mets (13-4) open a four-game series with the Braves (10-7) in Atlanta on Thursday night on SNY at 7:35.

Tags: Steven Matz, Danny Abriano
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New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)
New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

As Matt Harvey prepares to take the mound Thursday night in Atlanta, he is a very different pitcher than he was just a few years ago -- one who finds himself fighting for a rotation spot. What has changed in how Harvey pitches and what can he do -- if anything -- to succeed in this new incarnation?

Thoracic outlet syndrome, a career-ender for many, first and foremost has drained Harvey's once-formidable velocity. His average fastball came in at or near 97 mph in 2013 and 2015 and is below 93 in his three starts thus far in 2018. The cold weather may be a factor, though, and it's not much of a stretch to see him reaching the 94 he averaged in 2017. His other pitches have slowed as well -- slider, changeup, and curveball have all dropped two or more miles per hour since 2015.

Many pitchers survive and even thrive with a velocity along the lines of what Harvey is currently throwing, but his performance is still a long ways off from his days as an ace. He's struggling to fool batters, with swing rates well below his peak and contact rates well above. His swinging strike rate has dropped almost 3 percent from his 2015 mark, though it is up slightly from last year...

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Sep 19, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto (11) rounds the bases after hitting a walk off solo home run in the tenth inning against the New York Mets at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Sep 19, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto (11) rounds the bases after hitting a walk off solo home run in the tenth inning against the New York Mets at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

The Mets have been in touch with the Marlins regarding a trade for catcher J.T. Realmuto, and are expected to circle back with the Marlins at some point this season. The Mets recently lost Travis d'Arnaud (partially torn UCL) and Kevin Plawecki (hairline fracture in his left hand) to injury, though Plawecki is expected to miss only two-to-three weeks. In their stead, the Mets are going with Jose Lobaton and Tomas Nido, though GM Sandy Alderson said last week that the Mets are only comfortable at catcher for the "very short-term." 

With that in mind, Doug Williams and SNY MLB Insider Andy Martino discussed the potential acquisition of Realmuto on this week's Shea Anyhing podcast, with Martino saying he thinks "that conversation starts with Amed Rosario."

Click below to watch...

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Apr 18, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) celebrates his two run single against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 18, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) celebrates his two run single against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Mets lost to the Nationals in brutal fashion on Monday night, and their bats went mostly silent during Tuesday night's loss. A loss on Wednesday night would have meant a three-game sweep, and the continuation of the sky-is-falling-the-Mets-aren't-for-real narrative that was being pushed by some during the prior 48 hours.

Instead, the Mets erupted for nine runs in the eighth inning -- turning a two-run deficit in to a seven-run lead. It was punctuated by a grand slam off the bat of Yoenis Cespedes, who paused for effect before rounding the bases.

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterFor all who said that Monday night's game was a defining one, Wednesday night's was as well. In fact, it arguably may be even more defining. Why? Because it's a game that the Mets likely would have lost last year. It's a game they most definitely would not have come back from, would have just given up on -- and they would have been swept by the Nationals.

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Apr 18, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) hits a grand slam against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 18, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) hits a grand slam against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Mets were on the verge of getting swept by the Nationals. And then an eighth-inning explosion happened.

After the Mets turned a 4-2 deficit in to a 7-4 lead, Yoenis Cespedes put the cherry on the top with a grand slam.

Click below for a look of Thursday's back pages in NYC...

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Mets on comeback win over Nats 00:06:26
Mets manager Mickey Callaway and players discuss Matz's start and the resiliency the club put on display in its nine-run eighth inning.

The Mets didn't want to get reverse swept by the Nationals on their home field. A nine-run eighth inning is definitely a way to avoid that. 

Down 4-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth, Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes got things started with back-to-back singles. After an Asdrubal Cabrera single to load the bases, it was Todd Frazier that tied the game with an RBI single smashed back up the middle off Nats reliever Ryan Madson

Now tied 4-4, Juan Lagares had the bases loaded himself with two outs. With a two-strike count, he roped a double down the right field line to score two, giving the Mets their first lead of the game...

Tags: Todd Frazier, Juan Lagares, Yoenis Cespedes, Scott Thompson
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