By Michael Eccleston
So, what is going on with Matt Harvey? I have been asking that question since April. Originally, the New York Mets put him on the disabled list with right shoulder discomfort, but now he could possibly have a season ending surgery to correct Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.
Wow. This is a mess. A disaster. What else can go wrong for this guy?
The “ace of the Mets’ staff” has been far from it from day 1 this season. Harvey is 4-10, and I don’t want to hear “They haven’t been scoring runs for him”… That is a viable excuse when he’s pitched well. He currently holds an ERA of 4.86! It’s July! That is alarming. His strikeout rate is way down, and he has given up 111 hits in just 92 and two third innings. Ouch.
There’s something clearly not right here. Was it him pitching all of those innings in both the regular season and the postseason coming off of Tommy John surgery last year? It is very possible. I don’t think he just forgot how to pitch, but this is worrisome. Maybe Scott Boras wasn’t so crazy when he complained that Harvey had been pitching too many innings and needed to be shut down last year. But, and understandably so, Harvey wanted to pitch through the season and get the Mets to the World Series, and he did it. Long-term, though? It was a major risk.
It is a possibility that Harvey will choose to go through a nerve block injection, which would be a temporary fix. Honestly, I feel like the Mets should just shut him down. Fix the problem right now. Let him go for the surgery. Harvey hasn’t been close to what he was supposed to be this season, and if I’m making this decision, I’m trying to make sure that he is ready to go at full strength for next year. The Mets are looking to get Zack Wheeler back at some point this season, and if he can even be close to what he was before his Tommy John surgery, he will be an upgrade over what Harvey has been giving them. With Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Bartolo Colon, temporarily Logan Verrett, and the return of Wheeler, I still think that the rotation, along with the offense, is still good enough to get the Mets to the postseason. And as we all know, once you get to the postseason, you just never know what could happen.
So why not? I understand that he wants to get back on the mound at Citi Field as soon as possible, but he should make sure that he doesn’t put his 2017 season in jeopardy as well.
Now, this would leave very little room for error in this Mets rotation. Wheeler would be under more pressure to have to come back and perform well. It would need to be all hands on deck now, but if this team were to make it to the postseason, I would confidently put the Mets’ top 3 in a series against anyone else’s.