Mets Figuring Out What To Do With Matt Harvey

The New York Mets shouldn’t skip Matt Harvey’s next game if the sole motivation is to have him available to start the All-Star Game. However, if the intent is to begin a program to give his blister a chance to heal and reduce his innings in the second half, then go for it.

HARVEY: What's the plan? (AP)

HARVEY: What’s the plan? (AP)

That the decision to cut his innings coincides with the break is a fortunate bit of timing for the Mets, as Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen will have some time to structure a schedule.

“Dan and I are talking about trying to figure out how to start to cut this guy back a little bit,’’ Collins told reporters yesterday in San Francisco. “We’ll have to decide what happens on Saturday.’’

It is beginning to look as if Harvey will miss the Pirates, but it might not have come to this had he and the Mets acted sooner. Harvey said after last night’s game he’s been bothered by the blister in his last three starts and skipped his between-starts bullpen session prior to Monday.

That is incredulous.

How do the Mets not sit Harvey for one of those games, especially if in the back of their minds they are contemplating cutting his innings? Presumably, he’s been getting treatment for the blister, but if he didn’t report it to the training staff, that’s incredibly stupid on his part. If that is the case, then he didn’t learn anything when he tweaked his back earlier this season.

If he reported the blister and the Mets still ran him out there, that’s irresponsible by them.

How can this be? How can the Mets be so bent on Harvey starting the All-Star Game, yet play fast and loose with him regarding his starts for them? What is the priority?

The best way to limit innings is to skip the occasional start and not piecemeal it an inning or two at a time. This is the route the Nationals did not take last year with Stephen Strasburg.

If Harvey doesn’t pitch Saturday, and with the likelihood of him not starting the first or second game coming out of the break, that would effectively take him out of two starts in July. Finding a game each in August and September shouldn’t be difficult. If this situation is big-pictured, one missed start a month over the course of a season would be six on the year, or 28 instead of 34. That’s something to think about next year.

Meanwhile, there are currently no plans to limit Zack Wheeler’s innings, but he’s already missed time with an injury and the call-up. Plus, in his four starts with the Mets, he’s worked six innings just once, and that was his debut.

However, with Wheeler the issue isn’t innings as much as it is pitches, with his lowest being 89 in a 4.2-inning outing against Washington. This comes with him not being polished and rushed to the majors. As it turns out, the Mets need these starts from Wheeler, because they are having issues with their rotation.

Jon Niese is on the disabled list with a slight tear in his rotator cuff and at least a month away. The Mets also announced Shaun Marcum will undergo season-ending surgery to repair an artery obstruction. The surgery is similar to what Dillon Gee had last year.

Carlos Torres will replace Marcum in the rotation, but could first start in place of Harvey.

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4 thoughts on “Mets Figuring Out What To Do With Matt Harvey

  1. You said it right here. The Mets are hurt and need their Ace to step up.

    TC is trying to win to save his job. The Mets want their Ace to start in the All Star game for PR purposes.

    It is all pretty logical.

  2. The All Star game coincides with Harvey’s throw day, so I can kinda see why they think it is OK. Add to that the fact that this is the first time they have hosted the all star game in decades, and they want to capitalize on it, and it makes a bit more sense.
    Limit him Saturday to day 90 pitches, then let him pitch 2 innings on Tuesday. Then skip his first turn after the break. That makes more sense imnsho. Of course, skipping a lot of starts is going to be hard when there are not viable replacements.

    As for Wheeler, considering some other posts about “play the kids” I am wondering why you are now saying he was rushed (I happen to think he is being rushed, I have visions of Mike Pelfrey dancing in my head, of course, no Rick Petersen this time to have him scratch a plus pitch for a different pitch that he never mastered). They really should have waited until August at the earliest for this kid.

    I thought Marcum’s surgery was like Chris Carpenter’s surgery, not Gee. Gee had a clot. Marcum has thoracic outlet syndrome, which is different and the surgery is much different. Carpenter and Mike Adams have not been able to come back to the same they were before.

    By the way, how in the heck could they keep pitching him when he had numbness in his fingers? I have a pnched nerve in my back right now which is causing the same thing, plus pain in my left arm as well, and it is hard to type, much less try to throw a baseball. Of course, I can take steroids to fix it, which won’t work for Marcum.

    • Ed: Yes, Tuesday would be his throw day, but he’ll exert himself a lot harder in the All-Star Game than he would in the pen. … Not just saying it now that he was rushed. I’ve been in that corner for awhile now. Wheeler said it himself that there’s things he needs to work on. It is clear his command is off. … As far as Marcum is concerned, just another screw-up. He hasn’t been healthy since spring training. The similarity with Gee is they both had numbness in their fingers. Also, the same doctor is doing the surgery.-JD