Hold Up On Harvey

An article by posted on July 12, 2012

As you probably could have guessed, I’m not in favor of bringing Matt Harvey up right now.

I think just as with the Upton discussion, too many people are quick to jump to the easy solution. The Mets can easily send some top prospects for Upton, that doesn’t mean there’s no negative side to the deal.

The Mets can easily appease the fans and call up Harvey, but that doesn’t mean they should.

The last time the fans had such a big voice with regards to making one single move, Wally Backman was up against Terry Collins to be the next Manager.

I will tell you right off the bat, I do not “follow” the minor leagues. I like having young talent, but I go into every prospect situation assuming they will be a bust. However, the more chances you have the better chance at success you will have. Which is why I like knowing the Mets have assets.

For me, calling up Matt Harvey to take Dillon Gee’s spot is not an ideal situation right now. I do believe Harvey can be called up later on in 2012, but right now, I think his time is best used in the minor leagues.

Matt Harvey got a ringing endorsement from his Manager, but to me, Backman had no other choice.

Earlier this year, Backman said Harvey was not ready. To me, that didn’t hurt Harvey’s chances for a call up because it was never really being considered.

Backman has to protect his players just as Collins does. When your young player is being discussed as a possible call up, you cannot come out and say “he’s not ready.” You just cannot do it. You cannot be the reason why your young “ace” doesn’t get a call up.

Harvey has improved in the minors, but his 3rd pitch (changeup) needs improvement. To me, that is reason enough to keep him in the minors. You can’t have your “future” come up in a playoff race to work on his 3rd pitch.

First, he’ll come to a point where he avoids it at all costs, which will then turn himself into a 2 pitch pitcher.

Second, if he needs to work on his 3rd pitch, the minors is the place to do that.

Third, it could wreck his confidence if he comes up and isn’t “good”. He doesn’t need to catapult into the #1 role from jump street, but he needs to have success. If he’s only throwing 2 pitches with confidence, he’s bound to get lit up.

The reason why Gee and Young are solid 4/5 starters is because they can go deeper into a game. They can help preserve a bullpen and give you a chance to win every night. Most teams do not have that luxury.

You know as well as I do that if Matt Harvey was called up, he’d have a strict pitch count and innings limit. Whether you agree with that or not, it will happen.

Does that help a playoff contender? Aren’t we all raising doubts about Strasburg’s limits?

Harvey is not on the Mets 40-man roster as of now, which means in order to make this move, you must release somebody from the roster. The only way around this however, could be if Gee is placed on the 60-day DL.

For me, the Mets need to exhaust the following possibilities first before considering Matt Harvey in the big leagues.

#1 See if Miguel Batista and Jeremy Hefner can get you through the trade deadline and set you up for a potential waiver-trade.

Batista isn’t very flashy, but he can pitch. He’s not an ideal starter, but people need to realize he’d be at the bottom of the rotation. If he gets the Mets through the July 31st deadline, the price can drop significantly on starters that didn’t go at the deadline. Plus, if the Mets continue to be in the race, more teams will find themselves out of it.

#2 Check in on the price tag for Bartolo Colon, Kevin Millwood, Francisco Liriano, Bruce Chen, JA Happ, Paul Maholm, and Clayton Richard.

The Mets are in a unique situation. A lot of buyers may look for a bigger splash for their rotation. The Mets do not need that. They need a 4/5 starter, and while some of these guys may be more expensive than others it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask.

Do What Is Best For Harvey AND The Mets.

It’s easy for us to all say we want to see Harvey because a spot is open, but we need to relax and realize it may not be the best thing for the current roster, the bullpen and Harvey himself.

I’m not worried about his options, or anything like that. I’m worried that the Mets would throw a kid who isn’t ready, into a playoff race and potentially shatter his chances at becoming the pitcher we hope he can be.

I hope he does get called up this year, but I hope it’s less because of an emergency and more because the Mets are comfortable in knowing he is ready to contribute to the team.

About the Author ()

Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.

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