In an odd and unexpected move, the New York Mets announced that right-hander Matt Harvey will start on short rest against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday.
Harvey, 28, returned from an extended stay on the disabled list on Saturday, and was smacked around by the Houston Astros who lit him up for seven runs in only two innings of work, the shortest outing of his career. It was an ugly affair that saw him get tagged for eight hits while hitting a batter and throwing two wild pitches with a fastball that sat at 92-93 mph and topped out at 95.
“I am fully confident within the next start or the start after that or whatever it is by the end of this season, I’ll be comfortable on the mound and throwing to hitters,” Harvey said after the game. “There is not one doubt in my mind, that with good health my mechanics will come and so will success.”
The former Met ace has had two major surgeries since 2013, first Tommy John surgery that took 18 months to recover from, then he was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome last June prompting season-ending surgery. After struggling at the start of this season, Harvey landed on the DL again to regain strength in his shoulder muscles.
When asked to explain the decision to bring Harvey back on short rest, manager Terry Collins said he wanted him to “get back on the mound as soon as possible.”
Given all that Matt Harvey has had to endure with arm injuries over the last four years, it’s hard to make a good case for rushing him back to the mound after such a poor showing.
Especially in what’s become a meaningless four weeks left to the season where the main goal is trying to get to the finish line without anymore casualties.
It’s just another senseless move that can blow up in the Mets’ faces just like so many other bad decisions when it comes to a player’s health.