In the past week leading up to the final month of the Major League Baseball season. A lot of talking points in New York has been the surrounded by Ace pitcher Matt Harvey.
At the start of the season, Matt Harvey was coming off of successful Tommy John surgery. According to Harvey’s agent, the doctor had set 180 inning limit on the young pitcher. However, according to Harvey and the Mets GM, it wasn’t necessarily a hard cap on the pitch limit.
When the story first broke out a few days ago, it was quite shocking. Personally, there should be no doubt about it what happens with Matt Harvey. The Mets haven’t been to the postseason since 2006, the eight-year drought has a great chance to end if they can hang onto their healthy five game lead over the Washington Nationals in the NL East.
There are a couple of problems that are compelling over the recent unfoldment.
First off, why is this a topic now?
If an inning limit which according to Harvey’s agent is a “hard cap”, then why is this just becoming a story now? If there really was, it would have been talked about quite a bit in April when the season started.
More importantly, nothing is inconclusive regarding why or how there could have been a hard cap put on Matt Harvey. The number of innings pitched shouldn’t be the most important stat. That should be the amount of pitches thrown. For instance, what did 180 innings pitched mean when the doctor said that? 180 10-pitch innings or 180 25-pitch innings. Both of those are completely different numbers despite both being 180 innings pitched.
What should happen is simple, the Mets start Harvey every fifth day unless there is an off day in between. If there is an off day in between, the Mets should skip Harvey’s start and have Harvey go to the bullpen. This may seem like a ridiculous idea, but to me it makes perfect sense.
The way the Mets schedule is, the Mets have an opportunity for Harvey to only start two more times this year. The two starts would be today against the Nationals September 13th against the Braves. In addition, with the Mets impressive home record this year, moving him to the bullpen could maximize the Mets starting pitching with Matz healthy. Also, putting him in the bullpen, could also stretch out his innings so that he’ll be able to only come in for two-three innings when the Mets need him if they really need to get a win.
With this option, the Mets would be able to go with a hybrid style and be able to keep him an option while also limiting his innings. In a perfect world, the Mets would lock up a playoff spot as soon as possible and the last week wouldn’t mean anything. Unfortunately, nothing is ever perfect and the Mets will have to try to keep Harvey’s agent healthy without damaging the Mets chances of winning a World Series.
What the Mets do with Harvey will be very intriguing and what might happen might depend on how well he pitches tonight. The Nationals were dealt a similar situation a few years back with Stephen Strasburg, and they decided to shut him down. In the end, it resulted in an exit in the NLDS.
Likely, Harvey will have to skip a start at some point this month and it will be very curious to see what happens if this team goes on a losing streak.
Jacob deGrom is slotted as the Mets’ #1 starter anyways in the postseason. His strikeouts (175) and ERA (2.40) is the best out of the entire Mets starters.
Bartolo Colon and Jonathon Niese, who have battled inconsistency through command, by both surendering an ERA above 4.
One of them will be demoted to the bullpen once October hits, and the other will serve as their #4 starter. Regardless, the Mets’ rotation is already in good hands, but with Harvey at his best. The starting staff can be one of the best in baseball.