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Day after relief debut, Harvey declines to speak

Mets right-hander was recently moved from rotation to bullpen
MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

ST. LOUIS -- Matt Harvey doubled down on his refusal to talk to media members Wednesday, swearing as a group of reporters questioned him at Busch Stadium. A day after making his first relief appearance of the season, Harvey laughed when the group walked up to his locker seeking comment.

"No chance," Harvey said. "Zero chance."

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ST. LOUIS -- Matt Harvey doubled down on his refusal to talk to media members Wednesday, swearing as a group of reporters questioned him at Busch Stadium. A day after making his first relief appearance of the season, Harvey laughed when the group walked up to his locker seeking comment.

"No chance," Harvey said. "Zero chance."

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When asked why he would not speak, Harvey replied, "I have nothing to say to you guys."

When asked why not, Harvey said, "I don't [expletive] want to," then walked away.

Harvey allowed one run in two innings of the Mets' 6-5 win over the Cardinals on Tuesday, his first appearance since the team moved him from the rotation to the bullpen. Through a team spokesman, he declined to comment after the game. Instead, manager Mickey Callaway, outfielder Jay Bruce and rookie catcher Tomas Nido discussed Harvey's performance.

Video: NYM@STL: Harvey strikes out Molina looking in relief

Although Callaway noted Wednesday that Harvey is within his rights not to talk, others in the organization indicated privately that they wished he had done so, thereby preventing the story of his bullpen performance from ballooning into something bigger.

"We really can't do anything about that," Callaway said of Harvey's decision not to talk. "I think it's their right as a player. The rules are such. It's kind of like when we have days off, we can't make them come in and work out."

Healed up
Reporting to St. Louis this week, left-hander Jason Vargas said that while he's not completely recovered from surgery to remove a fractured bone from his glove hand, he has healed enough to come off the disabled list Saturday in San Diego.

"I wouldn't say that we're completely back to normal," Vargas said. "We're still trying to work getting the strength back to 100 percent. But as far as being able to get out there and catch a baseball, do normal baseball stuff, we're doing pretty well. I'm looking forward to getting back in the mix."

Video: Vargas discusses returning from the DL

Making his only Minor League rehab start Monday in Las Vegas, Vargas fielded his position in a game for the first time since surgery. He has also started gripping a bat and practicing bunts, but he has not attempted to swing.

Changing it up
Perhaps the most telling aspect of Paul Sewald's ascension in the Mets' bullpen is his performance against lefties. After allowing a .290/.385/.441 slash line to left-handed hitters last season, Sewald entered Wednesday holding them to an 0-for-13 mark with six strikeouts.

It's a small sample, Sewald admits. But he is also confident that his revamped changeup -- he used to throw a classic circle change, but now distributes the pressure on his three middle fingers -- will help him maintain his success throughout the season.

Understanding his struggles against lefties, Sewald spent the winter studying how two of the game's best changeup artists, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, attack left-handed hitters.

"It was important to make sure I had a third pitch," said Sewald, who has more than doubled his changeup usage this season, while holding opposing hitters to a .407 OPS. "It's had a lot of success, starting in Spring Training. Ultimately, having success with it has given me a lot of confidence with it, so now I feel like I can throw it, and in bigger situations, and it's kept guys on their heels."

Injury updates
• Second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera was out of the Mets' lineup Wednesday with a tight right hamstring, Callaway said. The Mets do not consider the injury serious, and Cabrera is day to day. 

• Neither catcher Kevin Plawecki (fractured left hand) nor Anthony Swarzak (strained right oblique) have made significant progress in their rehab from injuries. Neither is close to a return from the disabled list.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Matt Harvey