By RONALD BLUM, AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Matt Harvey is set to rejoin the New York Mets’ rotation Friday at Milwaukee after serving a three-day suspension for not showing up at Citi Field for a game last weekend.
“You make a mistake. You stand up, be accountable and move on. And you know what? People forget about it,” Mets manager Terry Collins said Monday, a day after general manager Sandy Alderson revealed the discipline for the 28-year-old pitcher.
Harvey was sent home from the ballpark Sunday before his scheduled start against Miami, yet another flap for a pitcher fined for missing a mandatory team workout before the 2015 playoffs.
Collins said Harvey will return to the Mets on Tuesday and will have to explain what happened to his teammates. Collins said Harvey will decide “if he wants to do it in a group, which is the easiest, I always think, or if he wants to do it individually.”
Collins said the easiest path forward was to keep Harvey on his regular rotation turn, which comes up Friday. The suspension is costing Harvey $84,016 of his $5,125,000 salary.
“Matt made a mistake,” outfielder Jay Bruce said before a 4-3 win over San Francisco. “People make mistakes. There are team rules, and when team rules are broken there are consequences that have to be served, and obviously that’s happening.”
Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson was understanding.
“There’s a number of reasons why he was not able to show up that day, and he knows exactly what that is, and obviously he’s going to be able to address those things,” Granderson said.
Collins said he expects Harvey’s agent, Scott Boras, to challenge the discipline. Baseball’s labor contract says any punishment must be for “just cause.” While the Mets refused to say Sunday what caused the punishment, Collins went into more detail Monday.
“We have a policy here. We had to do something. Sandy did it,” Collins said. “I respect it. 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.”
New York is coming off a weekend in which star pitcher Noah Syndergaard was put on the 60-day disabled list because of a torn latissimus dorsi muscle and the team was embarrassed when it tweeted a photo of T.J. Rivera wearing the star-of-the-game crown in the clubhouse, which included a clearly visible sex toy in backup catcher Kevin Plawecki’s locker.
“We have gotten where we have gotten the last two years with all of the things that have happened here because we have a tremendous clubhouse,” Collins said. “If you’re talking about the pranks guys play on each other, that’s part of the gig here, that’s part of professional — that’s part of a clubhouse atmosphere. People outside don’t like it, we really don’t care. It’s about our guys relaxing and having some fun.”
Left-hander Adam Wilk, who pitched in place of Harvey, was designated for assignment Monday, when lefty Tommy Milone was added to the active roster. Milone was claimed off waivers from Milwaukee on Sunday and will start Wednesday’s homestand finale against San Francisco.
Making his first big league appearance since 2015 and second since 2012, Wilk allowed six runs and eight hits over 3 2/3 innings in a 7-0 loss, giving up a pair of long home runs by Giancarlo Stanton. Wilk had been in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with the Mets’ Triple-A team Saturday when he was told to get to New York. He took a flight to Los Angeles, a red-eye to New York and went straight to Citi Field for his start.
Milone traveled from his California home back to Milwaukee on Sunday, then arrived at Citi Field about 90 minutes before Monday’s game and threw a bullpen for pitching coach Dan Warthen.
“He said he threw the ball to both sides of the plate,” Collins said. “He said he’s got a feel for his off-speed pitches, so we’ll find out when we get him out there.”
Milone has not pitched since his last relief appearance April 29 and has not started since April 19.
“I actually felt pretty good,” he said. “It’s surprising. Sometimes you go the other way.”
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