Last night, rookie pitcher Matt Harvey was very effective if not dominant and he picked up his fourth win of the season for his effort. what has made Harvey really stand out for me since being promoted, is how serious and all business he is on the mound. It helps him keep an even keel even on nights where he may not have his best stuff. He doesn’t give into the batters and adapts his game as needed to give himself and the team the best chance to win. It’s something most pitchers pick up in their third or fourth season in the majors, but in Harvey’s case, that maturity as a pitcher is already there. His eventual rise to the top of the rotation will not be that far off.
After the game, manager Terry Collins confirmed what he said earlier and that an innings limit will prevent his young right-hander from pitching through the end of the season.
Collins danced around the issue when asked for a precise innings number, but GM Sandy Alderson previously indicated that it would be in the neighborhood of 165 to 170-innings until he gets shutdown for the season.
After last night’s start, Harvey has now thrown 152.1 innings, 42.1 of them in the majors. That would translate into possibly two more starts for him with an outside chance of three.
When asked if 170 innings was Harvey’s limit, Collins didn’t answer the question directly, but did say: “Somewhere in there. There’s not a number. But it’s in that area.”
Obviously the goal here is to limit Harvey’s innings so that there would be no Verducci Effect next season, a theory that surmises that increasing a young pitcher’s innings workload too fast and too much, can have a traumatic effect on the following season’s performance and in some cases even lead to injury.
The way I see it, Harvey was here to get a taste of the majors and give the team a chance to evaluate him as we look toward next season. I only wish they had brought him up a couple of weeks sooner so that he could have pitched a few more starts rather than turning to the likes of Miguel Batista or Chris Schwinden to replace Dillon Gee. From the short sampling of what we’ve been able to see, we did however find a key member of the 2013 rotation that is confident, effective and has a seriousness about him that’s not often seen in a rookie. I can’t wait to see him pitch over the full course of a season in 2013 when we’ll really find out how special Matt Harvey truly is.