August 14th (Harris Decker)
According to ESPN’s Danny Knobler, Terry Collins and the Mets are trying desperately to slow down Matt Harvey‘s recovery from Tommy John Surgery. Yesterday, the Mets manager tried to get in touch with the recovering ace to discuss a reworked schedule only to find out that he was on the radio talking with ESPN New York.
“I threw a bullpen today and I didn’t miss a spot,” Harvey said during that interview. “I felt like I was easily throwing into the low to mid 90s, with pretty much no effort.”
Obviously this is a double edged sword for Mets fans. The fact that he’s pitching and hitting his spots with “no effort” is great. Jeremy Hefner‘s most recent injury feels like a cautionary tale.
“One of the reasons we have tried to back Matt off is how he is mentally. This guy is a bulldog. There is no such thing as low speed or low gear. It’s all-out forward. There was a phone call made [Tuesday] where it was, ‘Yeah, we’ve got to back this down,’ and [Wednesday] he throws a 27-pitch bullpen.” Clearly Collins is not amused. He concluded that sentiment with “I’m going to put my head through the wall.”
There’s no question that every person recovers in a different way, a point Harvey brought up in the radio interview regarding Hefner. Just because Hefner had a major setback, doesn’t mean the same will happen to Harvey. Collins and the Mets seems to be singing a different tune. It’s not about Hefner, it’s about Harvey and the Mets. As the Mets fall further and further out of relevancy in 2014, it makes less and less sense to put Harvey back out there.
August 12th (Sean Sullivan)
In the wake of Jeremy Hefner’s setback, Sandy Alderson held a press conference prior to tonight’s game in which he all but affirmed the idea that Matt Harvey will not pitch in a game this season, minor leagues or otherwise.
Yesterday it was revealed that Jeremy Hefner, who underwent Tommy John surgery last summer, had re-injured his ulnar collateral ligament. Hefner had made six minor league starts for Port St. Lucie this summer while rehabbing from the original injury that ended his season on August 9th of last year.
Claimed off waivers from Pittsburgh in 2011, Hefner made his major league debut for New York in 2012. That year he appeared in 26 games and made 13 starts. He was a regular member of the Mets’ rotation in 2013, going 4-8 with a 4.34 ERA in 24 games (23 starts) before being shut down. After the diagnosis of a torn UCL, Hefner ultimately underwent surgery three weeks later.
In the eyes of Sandy Alderson, Hefner’s setback provides a cautionary tale for Harvey’s own rehabilitation. Thus far, Harvey has thrown off the mound several times and maintains his desire to pitch in 2014. However, given the reality of the situation and the clubs hesitancy to risk a similar narrative for the team’s burgeoning superstar, it is apparent that they will be overly cautious going forward.
At this point in the season, I can’t argue with the logic here. If the Mets were seriously in contention with a shot for some truly meaningful games in September, maybe I would criticize the Mets front office for being too cautious in this circumstance. However, at this point in time, I believe that the Mets’ and Matt Harvey’s priority should be to arrive in Port St. Lucie next spring healthy and ready to go.