Righthander Matt Harvey is likely on the move.
After helping Class A St. Lucie (36-22) clinch the Florida State League South Division first-half crown Monday with six solid innings, the 2010 first-round pick will probably be headed to Class AA Binghamton later this week.
Harvey yielded two runs or fewer in each of his last five starts and is 8-2 with a 2.44 ERA with 22 walks and a league-high 88 strikeouts in 13 starts covering 70 innings. More impressively, he is 4-0 with a 1.35 ERA and .213 average against in seven road starts.
“He has done a tremendous job for us,” St. Lucie manager Pedro Lopez said. “We had a good feeling coming into tonight’s ballgame. He brings a different presence on the mound. He makes the other team feel like we are going to be in the game no matter what. I’m glad he finished tonight the same way he pitched this season.”
In Binghamton, Harvey will be reunited with righthander Jeurys Familia, who was promoted to the B-Mets in mid-May. With both top righthanders gone, it could be righthander Armando Rodriguez who takes the torch.
Rodriguez, who joined the club in late May after rehabbing from a strained oblique, struck out 10 batters over five innings of a no-decision last Tuesday against Palm Beach. The 23-year-old allowed two runs, four hits and a walk in his fourth start.
The 6-2, 185-pounder is 0-1 with a 2.65 ERA with six walks and 21 strikeouts in 17 innings. He was 8-9 with a 3.08 ERA in 27 starts for low Class-A Savannah last season with 46 walks and 152 strikeouts in 146 innings. He led the South Atlantic League in strikeouts, was second in opponent average (.214) and third in ERA.
Prior to the 2010 season, former GM Omar Minaya compared Rodriguez to Jenrry Mejia. According to Scouting the Sally website, Rodriguez has a powerful build, a fastball that sits in the 91-93 mph range, an improved but average slider and a developing changeup.
On Wednesday, South Atlantic League All-Stars infielder Robbie Shields and closer Josh Edgin were promoted to St. Lucie. Shields was hitting .274 with two home runs and 26 runs batted in. He was tied for the league lead with 20 doubles. The 23-year-old went 1-for-5 with two RBI in his first two games with St. Lucie.
The 25-year-old Edgin was 1-0 with an 0.87 ERA. He was tied for the league lead with 16 saves in 17 opportunities. He picked up a win in his first Florida State League game, pitching a scoreless inning.
AROUND THE MINORS: Binghamton SS Jordany Valdespin continues to impress. The 23-year-old went 4-for-5 with two homers and four RBI June 16 at Richmond in the midst of a seven-game hitting streak. He was 11-for-31 with eight runs, three homers, eight RBI and five steals during the streak. The lefthanded hitter is batting .279/.332/470 with eight homers and 17 stolen bases in 59 games. … Binghamton 2B Reese Havens is struggling against fellow lefthanded hitters, batting .167/.286/.300 with 13 strikeouts in 30 at-bats. Overall, the 2008 first-rounder is batting .257/.333/.419 in 74 at-bats. … Savannah OF Cory Vaughn is 4-for-37 with 13 strikeouts in his last 10 games dropping his average to .286/.405/.408 in 245 at-bats. He is batting just .154 (10-for-65) in June after hitting over .300 in each of the first two months. … Both Matt den Dekker and Pedro Zapata were 0-for-3 in Saturday’s Florida State League All-Star game. LHP Darin Gorski started for the South Division and yielded two runs – one earned – and two hits in one inning. RHP Scott Moviel was the losing pitcher in the 5-3 loss, yielding two runs in the fifth inning.