New York Mets getting creative to limit Matt Harvey’s 2015 innings
One of the most controversial decisions in recent memory was the way the Washington Nationals handled the workload for their star pitcher Stephen Strasburg in 2012. Specifically, setting a hard innings cap to mitigate potential fatigue damage from Tommy John surgery the previous year. This limit had him shelved by early September and unavailable for the postseason. A postseason which ended in a loss in the National League Division Series loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. The New York Mets have a different approach to Matt Harvey which should allow him to pitch into October if necessary. Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com explains the details
[Mets GM Sandy] Alderson said Harvey will be in the rotation from the start of the 2015 season. Curtailing Harvey’s innings will be accomplished by strategically using off days to skip Harvey starts throughout the year.
Alderson added that Harvey could get a two-week shutdown at some point during the middle of the season, perhaps tied to the All-Star break. The Mets did a similar thing with Jacob deGrom last season while he was dealing with a mild shoulder issue, and the right-hander came back energized en route to earning the NL Rookie of the Year Award.
Alderson said Harvey will have a “soft” innings cap rather than a strict number. The GM added that Harvey, who logged 178 1/3 innings in 2013, will be 18 months post-surgery by the time the season arrives — a very conservative rehab period.
Of course the Mets have to make the postseason first. The National League East is quickly becoming a four team free-for-all this offseason to stack up on talent (except for the hapless Phillies). The defending champion Nationals have a number of weapons returning, plus are expected to shore up their bullpen. The Atlanta Braves are wheeling and dealing to improve their pitching depth. The Miami Marlins made sure they have their MVP runner up Giancarlo Stanton anchoring a powerful lineup (with a salary structure to add). The Mets have the reigning rookie of the year in deGrom, plus Harvey returning from Tommy John surgery. Add another bat or two, and they could be in the mix.
– David Whitlock
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