The New York Mets announced this afternoon All-Star pitcher Matt Harvey underwent Tommy John surgery, with Dr. James Andrews performing in Gulf Breeze, Fla.
Harvey will miss the entire season.
HARVEY: Has the knife today.
Initially, Harvey wanted to attempt rest and rehab as treatment for the partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Harvey was even given Andrews’ blessing to try that first, but couldn’t build up the strength to resume throwing, let alone compete in the Arizona Fall League.
Harvey waffled on surgery for over a month, but in the end did what general manager Sandy Alderson thought he would. Alderson said he was careful not to influence Harvey’s decision, but once the All-Star starter opted for surgery he said it was the right choice.
Alderson admitted Harvey was taking a gamble that he would be healthy for spring training, then re-injure his elbow and miss the remainder of the 2014 season and all of 2015. Alderson described that as the worst possible scenario for the Mets.
All along, Alderson said Harvey’s condition wouldn’t impact the Mets’ offseason approach to their rotation. Alderson said not to expect the Mets to sign a marquee free agent pitcher despite him saying he had the resources. Instead, Alderson said the team would target two innings eaters for the back end of the rotation until Rafael Montero’s Super Two deadline is reached and he would be available by June.
The Mets’ current rotation is Jon Niese, Zack Wheeler and Dillon Gee, all with questions of their own. Niese is coming off a slightly torn rotator cuff; Wheeler was scratched from his last start with a sore shoulder and will be entering his first full season; and Gee, based on victories, is now the de facto No. 1.
The Mets also do not know whether Jenrry Mejia, who underwent elbow surgery to remove bone spurs will be available for the start of the season.
The innings-eaters Alderson is searching for could be Aaron Harang and Daisuke Matsuzaka. Both showed enough – especially Matsuzaka – to warrant being brought to spring training.
Trouble is, they also showed enough to other teams who might pry them away if the Mets lowballed them.
It sure is strange how things tend to turn around. Prior to Harvey’s injury the Mets were thinking about going to a six-man rotation to conserve innings for Harvey and Wheeler.
They are now looking for help.