Mets should place Matt Harvey on the DL to regroup

Posted: May 22, 2016 in News, Opinion
Tags: ,

By Steven Inman


Photo from NY Post

The Mets have gotten off to a hot start this year despite getting very little out of key players such as David Wright, Curtis Granderson and Travis d’Arnaud. With that said the most difficult start to the season for any Met has to be from Matt Harvey. After dominating the Royals for the first 8 innings in Game 5 of the World Series, Harvey has been largely ineffective this season.

It’s really unknown how and why Harvey has a 5.77 ERA and has given up 65 hits in just 48.1 innings. It could be just a slow start, or an injury that Matt isn’t revealing to the Mets, or perhaps fatigue from such a large number of innings in 2015. Regardless at this point it’s probably best for the Mets to place Matt Harvey on the disabled list to regroup.

There is a reason why teams place innings limits on their young pitchers and while it isn’t clear if Harvey throwing 216 innings (including postseason) last season coming off Tommy John surgery is the reason for his 2016 struggles, it didn’t help him.

Stephen Strasburg, who Matt Harvey has often been compared to, went through a very similar ordeal that Harvey is experiencing now. The Nationals right-hander was badly struggling to start last season, his first 10 starts included a 6.55 ERA and opponents were hitting .325 off him. The Nationals placed him on the disabled list for about a month and when he returned he was dominant. Whether it was the rest or being able to take a step back to refine his mechanics, something changed for Strasburg. Since coming off the DL last June, Strasburg is 15-2 with 2.20 ERA and 185 strikeouts in 143.0 innings.

Strasburg and Harvey aren’t the only two pitchers to struggle coming back from Tommy John. Left-handers Patrick Corbin and Matt Moore both looked like they were on the cusp of stardom before they went under the knife. Both have struggled with command since returning and while that hasn’t added to their walk totals, it has caused both to give up home runs at an alarming pace this season.

While Tommy John is now a common occurrence for pitchers, no starter had ever come back from the surgery and thrown as many innings as Harvey. The Mets are in uncharted waters here so it is probably best if they play it safe.
As of right now the Mets are not planning on placing Harvey on the DL or skipping his start. He is expected to pitch Tuesday in Washington.

While Matt has been a soldier for the Mets, never asking for his start to be skipped or blaming his struggles on a defense that hasn’t helped him much, it’s probably in the Mets best interest to place Harvey on the disabled list. It’s a long season and the Mets can get by without one of their star right-handers while he gets himself right.

At the end of the day this season for the Mets is about finishing what they started last year and that’s winning the World Series and the Amazins can’t get that done without Matt Harvey at his best.

  1. Mike Young says:

    HI Steve – Its been a while between Mets Reports for me and like wise my posting any comments. In any case, your question is the proverbial white elephant in the room or should I say in the Mets 2016 path to the post season. In my opinion, much of what is Harvey’s problem is between his ears. Apparently, he is still learning how to pitch competitively when his high velocity is not as consistently there like he has had it there for him in his recent DK past. Hopefully, with coaching and as Ron Darling seems to think, he needs to continue going out there every 5th start and get past his problem by pitching himself out of it. He can do it. The question now is how long is this hiatus of the DK going to take to return? If Wheeler was ready now and able to pitch competitively then a trip to AAA would do Harvey some good. Otherwise, where does seeing Verrett every 5th start get us? Can Verrett sustain a steady stream of regular starts until Wheeler is ready to pitch regularly again? I think that right now Harvey needs to continue to take his place in the rotation and hopefully his next start vs. the Nats we will see the old familiar DK return with a vengeance that we didn’t think was probable or even possible so relatively soon after his last outing. He also needs to get serious about pitching effectively from the set position. He will not be an elite pitcher when he is ready to be a free until he does. Thanks and Lets Go Mets! Mike

    • Steven Inman says:

      Thanks for the comment Mike, by no means am I suggesting Harvey should be sent to Triple-A. Being away from the coaching staff and heading to the PCL is the last thing Harvey needs. I’m just suggesting a little time off to work on mechanics and simply take a breather wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. With that said, Harvey is expected to start Tuesday in DC. Lets Go Mets!

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