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Matt Harvey wants to pitch in August, but Mets GM Sandy Alderson isn’t going to let him

May 21, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT

harvey getty Getty Images

Mets right-hander Matt Harvey spoke to Tom Verducci of the Sports Illustrated about his recovery from Tommy John elbow surgery and said he wanted to return to the majors in August to make 5-7 starts down the stretch, but general manager Sandy Alderson quickly made it clear that the team isn’t going to let that happen.

August would be just 10 months after the surgery and the typically recovery timetable is 12-18 months, which is why Alderson said this to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York:

Not being a medical doctor and not really faced with that decision previously, I’ll reserve judgment. But the one thing we don’t want to do is be put in a situation where someone–Matt, or anyone else–has a setback because we’ve pushed the natural recovery processes further than we should have.

Exactly. Alderson and the Mets don’t need Harvey back for 5-7 starts in August and September, they need him back for hundreds of starts over the next decade. And by giving him every opportunity to be at full strength whenever he does take the mound again they give themselves the best chance to accomplish that.

  1. chill1184 - May 21, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    Love Harvey’s competitive spirit but no

  2. Kevin S. - May 21, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    When Strasburg had his Tommy John surgery, he was injured at almost exactly the same time of year (August 21 vs. August 24). He returned September 6 the following year and looked good doing it, finishing his rehab at the major-league level. The difference is that unlike Strasburg, who had his surgery in early September, Harvey waited until late October to go under the knife. Each recovery timetable is different, and if Harvey truly is ahead of schedule and ready to start rehab games in September, there’s no reason he couldn’t do it with a non-contending Mets team, but in all likelihood he probably took that option away when he delayed his surgery.

  3. flamethrower101 - May 21, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    Maybe I’m reading too much into this but I feel like there’s some sort of rift between Harvey and the Mets…at least on Harvey’s side. Remember the past over where he would have his rehab? I hope he doesn’t come back until he’s at 100% because if he tries and he reinjures himself he’ll be the one looking bad.

    • nsauser - May 21, 2014 at 10:41 AM

      There are rifts between Harvey and the Mets. Harvey believes he’s the savior of the Mets and thinks he’s generally above reproach. There were issues about where rehab would go down, he’s had issues with the PR team, and now this. Who dictates when the pitcher pitches? Yea, the team, not the pitcher. There’s no good reason for him to come back late this year. Get healthy and ready for the next 10 years, not 4 starts during garbage time when the team is in last place.

      • thebadguyswon - May 22, 2014 at 6:23 AM

        Hyperbole much?

  4. thebadguyswon - May 21, 2014 at 10:23 AM

    You’re reading into it.

  5. Old Gator - May 21, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    If Harvey threw up first, I bet they’d let him pitch tonight.

  6. pwshrugged - May 21, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    As much as I’d love to see Harvey back, both from a pure baseball perspective and for my keeper league that I own him in… it’s just unrealistic. I mean, you gotta admire the guy’s competitive nature and fire, and I think it’s probably a good thing for a competitive athlete to set ambitious goals like that for himself. But anyone around him – his team, his agent, his doctor(s), his mom, his spouse, his best friend – should be telling him that it’s probably not a reasonable expectation, and to keep the long-term view in mind. 5-7 starts this season mean nothing in the long-term, and the risk of coming back early vastly outweighs the reward. Harvey should have a long and rewarding career ahead of him, hopefully, and coming back early only jeopardizes that. I’m sure in the back of his mind somewhere, he realizes that… but if trying to be back in September helps motivate him, then good for him. Just let it be motivation, and not reality.

  7. jrbdmb - May 21, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    So Harvey wants to pitch in August and September against his team’s wishes? Next we’ll be hearing that he is practicing a glove flip for future strikeouts.

    What a clubhouse cancer – the Mets need to release him immediately.

  8. mazblast - May 21, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    I love the guy’s fire and desire, but he needs to slow down and follow the advice of competent (not necessarily Mets-employed) medical professionals. He also needs to be reminded that he doesn’t decide when and where he pitches, that management does.

    Harvey may have a long and distinguished career ahead of him–if he learns to shut his mouth and do what he’s told to when he’s told to do it.

  9. thebadguyswon - May 22, 2014 at 6:25 AM

    I don’t care what he does. It’s nice to finally have another player with a personality for a change instead of a bunch of company men.

    Tip of the hat to the fans of the other 29 teams that hope there’s a “rift” so the Mets trade him to their clubs. Bravo.

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