Monday, September 23, 2013

Notes: Matt Harvey's Elbow

Since I've actually written last a lot has gone downhill for the Mets.

All-Star ace Matt Harvey went down with a "partial UCL tear" in his elbow about one month ago. Harvey has most likely had this injury for a while, which warranted his immediate shutdown for the remainder of the 2013 season.

After seeking an opinion from Dr. James Andrews (!?!), Harvey and the Mets were left with the choice of rehabbing the elbow, or having it operated on. Tommy John surgery would leave Harvey unable to compete in most, if not all, of 2014. Harvey recently made the decision to try rehab, rather then certainly miss a season in his to-be-prized career.

Harvey is a kid, in baseball respect. He's made now numerous mistakes in talking to the world's most scrutinizing media market, and in my opinion is making a mistake that could cost him his career.

Many of the sheep-flock that is the Mets online fan base fully support Harvey in his choice, just as they would if he had announced he wanted to quit baseball and become a tennis player. The "risks of surgery" are not in fact greater than the risks of rehabbing a torn ulnar collateral ligament, although I, unlike some fans, do not claim to suddenly have a degree in orthopedic medicine. However, it doesn't take that degree to see the amount of success rehabbed pitchers have had in the past compared to those who had Tommy John surgery.

Even the biggest idiot Met fan of them all, Terry Collins, somehow snuck his opinion into Harvey's decision process. The manager asked Roy Halladay, an extremely rare success rehab case, to talk to his young ace, an interview that could have swayed Harvey's preferred route.

If I was the Mets organization, I wouldn't be happy with this choice. I wouldn't want to send my ace to a mound, during a season I know won't win a championship, and risk the future anchor of my pitching staff ruining his arm.

Harvey's throwing program is set to be completed in December, after which he will be reevaluated. As a fan, I can only hope that "reevaluated" means the Mets will make the tough decision that Harvey would not make himself. It is painful to admit that as a fan, I do not want to see Matt Harvey pitch in 2014.

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