Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Matt Harvey Mess

"Pitchers recovering from Tommy John surgery should limit innings to 180-185." - Dr. James Andrews, the man who invented Tommy John surgery "Pitchers recovering from Tommy John surgery should shut up and act like a man.' - Asshole Sports Radio Caller

Whom would you listen to?

Matt Harvey is doing exactly the right thing here for his own future and the future of the franchise. He's not being greedy or selfish, and even if he were, can you blame him? Stay healthy and pretty much assure yourself a huge contract or ignore doctor's advice and risk not only all that money but also everything you've worked for your entire life.

Now there are a couple problems here, but I don't know exactly who deserves how much of the blame.
First of all, why wasn't a clear and coherent plan made from spring training? Were the Mets expecting to be out of it by September at which point they could just shut him down? Was Harvey suddenly feeling tired and asking for time off?
We'll probably never know but I would suspect the Mets are more worthy of blame than Harvey.

And those idiotic Mets fans who want him traded are exactly the fans I fear the team is listening to when doing or almost doing things like signing Cuddyer or trading Flores and Wheeler for Carlos Gomez.

Matt Harvey is the centerpiece of what could be one of the greatest rotations we've seen in a long time, if they stay health and stay together.
The Mets need to do everything they can to protect him even if it means lessening their chances to win a few regular season games.

But come playoff time I think Harvey and the Mets would be willing to take their chances and push themselves 15-20 innings past the doctor prescribed limit, if that's ok with all the doctors in the stands at CitiField.


Damino said...

I share your long-term outlook, but I'm a little tougher on Harvey than you are. I find it incredibly hard to believe that before the season began, doctor's orders were a strict 180 inning limit including the postseason, and that the Mets ignored this and had Harvey in the rotation since opening day. Alderson is a very smart guy, and with Wheeler out for the season, there's no way he'd proactively ensure that the Mets were without their ace for the stretch of the pennant race and the postseason. Just no way.

Also, wasn't Harvey publicly complaining about the 6 man rotation, which was designed to give him and the other youngsters extra rest? Why on earth would he do that, if he knew it was designed to let him pitch deeper into the season?

Scott Boras is understandably protecting his client, and Harvey is understandably trying to stay healthy. I don't care if he doesn't throw another pitch this regular season, but he damn well better pitch in the postseason for as many starts and as many innings as he is needed. This Mets team is looking really special right now, and I don't want to hear that he can only pitch once in the NLDS for 5 innings or some soft nonsense like that, and same goes for the NLCS if the Mets make it.

Paul said...

That's a reasonable position to take and we mostly agree. We differ on how much blame Harvey really deserves, but I am giving him the benefit of the doubt. Even if he did bitch about the 6-man rotation. And if he didn't give the Mets a clear indication that he wanted to stick to 180 innings from spring training, I respect his right to change his mind, assuming that if he did so it was in response to some physical symptom, tired arm perhaps.