Skip to content

Before the Matt Harvey blame game begins …

Aug 26, 2013, 4:07 PM EDT

New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey pitches against the Chicago White Sox with a bloody nose during the first inning of their MLB Inter League baseball game at CitiField in New York Reuters

Matt Harvey being shut down with a partially-torn UCL is awful, awful news. I know now the official line is that they will wait and see how it goes, think about rehab over surgery and all of that, but really: when was the last time a pitcher successfully rehabbed a torn-UCL? It seems like they always end up having surgery.

So, as we contemplate being without Matt Harvey for a year — and not to full strength until the beginning of the 2015 season — let’s talk about the blame game. Because you know people will be doing so soon.

Except, I’m struggling to think of who should get blame. We may hear sourced-reports about this later, but I can’t recall anyone with knowledge of Harvey’s health and condition saying that the Mets were mishandling him. Overworking him. Ignoring signs of fatigue.  His workload hasn’t gone up in dramatic fashion from one year to the next (which is part of the somewhat dubious “Verducci Effect” theory). He’s had a handful of outings this season where he began innings after already over 100 pitches and topped 120 a couple of times, but no one ever said that 100 pitches was some magic number. Indeed, smarter thinking these days is that you have to watch pitchers individually for signs of fatigue rather than arbitrarily assigning the same pitch count to a horse like Harvey as you might a slight curveball artist.

No, Harvey getting shut down and likely needing surgery doesn’t appear to be a matter of the Mets abusing Harvey or some awful mechanical flaw. It’s just a matter of pitching living to break your heart. Maybe someday there will be a viable theory that predicts and can help prevent elbow injuries in pitchers, but for now it just feels like chaos and sadness. A chaos and a sadness that seems to have visited Mets pitching prospects in disproportionate fashion over the years.

Latest Posts
  1. The Tigers are going to “reboot;” plan to trade Price and Cespedes

    Jul 29, 2015, 3:44 PM EDT

    tigers logo Getty Images

    They’re in fourth place and their best player isn’t coming back for a month. Makes all sorts of sense.

  2. Three Yankees minor league pitchers suspended for steroids

    Jul 29, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

    syringe

    Some real old school mentality being demonstrated there.

  3. Justin Verlander has his best start in two years

    Jul 29, 2015, 2:54 PM EDT

    Justin Verlander

    It was Verlander’s second straight eight inning, one-run performance.

  4. Chris Capuano designated for assignment by the Yankees

    Jul 29, 2015, 2:15 PM EDT

    Chris Capuano Yankees Getty Images

    Capuano failed to make it out of the first inning in Tuesday’s start.

  5. The Dodgers, Yankees and Blue Jays are poised for a “bidding war” over David Price

    Jul 29, 2015, 12:19 PM EDT

    David Price AP

    At least to the extent you can have a bidding “war” over a two-month rental.

  6. Dodgers acquire Mat Latos and Michael Morse from Marlins

    Jul 29, 2015, 11:51 AM EDT

    Mat Latos AP

    Oh, and the Marlins gave away a draft pick too.

  7. Curt Casali is having one heck of a week

    Jul 29, 2015, 10:30 AM EDT

    Curt Casali Getty Images

    Two homers, two games in a row and five in his last four games.

  8. Why do managers wear uniforms anyway?

    Jul 29, 2015, 9:37 AM EDT

    Houston Astros v Chicago Cubs Getty Images

    And why on Earth did Bobby Cox wear a cup for every game? What was he possibly expecting?

  9. Drew Storen doesn’t sound happy about the Jonathan Papelbon acquisition

    Jul 29, 2015, 8:59 AM EDT

    Drew Storen AP AP

    Saves = money for relief pitchers and Storen is gonna get a lot fewer saves now.

  10. And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

    Jul 29, 2015, 7:28 AM EDT

    Yankees Getty Images

    Your mileage may vary, but for my money the ugliest game of the year happened last night.

  11. Henderson Alvarez undergoes shoulder surgery

    Jul 28, 2015, 11:22 PM EDT

    Henderson Alvarez AP

    Alvarez served as the Marlins’ Opening Day starter …

  12. Video: Jose Abreu awarded a home run after Mookie Betts flips into Fenway Park bullpen

    Jul 28, 2015, 10:05 PM EDT

    Mookie Betts AP

    Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts tracked down a hardly hit ball from White Sox slugger Jose Abreu on Tuesday night but lost it when he fell into the bullpen …

  13. Red Sox retire Pedro Martinez’s number at Fenway Park

    Jul 28, 2015, 9:32 PM EDT

    Pedro Martinez AP

    Martinez was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday.

  14. Astros “making a strong effort” for Phillies ace Cole Hamels

    Jul 28, 2015, 8:40 PM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies v Chicago Cubs Getty Images

    Hamels would join Dallas Keuchel and Scott Kazmir in an excellent, postseason-ready Astros rotation.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. A. Rodriguez (4406)
  2. C. Hamels (3961)
  3. J. Cueto (3890)
  4. M. Trout (3567)
  5. T. Tulowitzki (3449)
  1. D. Price (3340)
  2. J. Reyes (3232)
  3. C. Gonzalez (3232)
  4. S. Kazmir (3160)
  5. M. Conforto (3073)