There is no easy way to say this, friends. The Mets are going to lose Matt Harvey for a year. After the discovery of a partial tear in the Ulner Collateral ligament of his right (throwing) elbow, Harvey will rest for a few weeks before deciding how best to proceed.
The prognosis is not so rosy. Hardly a death sentence it still means a year without Harvey, which to all Mets fans and most fans of baseball in general, is a punishment all too cruel.
Because we live in the land of HOT SPROTS TAKES, there must be a fall guy for Matt Harvey’s injury. The Mets had one job — ONE JOB — this season, they had to keep Matt Harvey in one piece. And it appears they haven’t done it. And for that they must pay.
Is it worth killing the Mets for Harvey’s injury? I mean, pitchers get hurt. They get hurt all the time, they get hurt without warning. They’re pitchers, they get hurt.
Matt Harvey had thrown fewer than 100 pitches in 3 of last 6 starts, hadn't gone above 110 since June 21. Sometimes they just get hurt.
— Jay Jaffe (@jay_jaffe) August 26, 2013
But dig into some of the Mets comments and you may notice some worrying signs that the front office didn’t do all that they can to monitor the health of their pitcher. That they didn’t take advantage of all the technology available to them to best search out worrying trends or physical signals of potential distress.
The Rays model is always held up as an example of leading edge health management. The Rays pitchers never get hurt! To their credit, they shut Matt Moore down with elbow discomfort earlier this season and he is now set to rejoin their rotation in a week. Maybe on another team, he keeps throwing and only now gets the rest he requires. Maybe maybe maybemaybemaybe.
It isn’t as though pitcher health is an inexact science, it is simply a very expensive and well-guarded proprietary science. The Mets could be faulted for Harvey’s injury though it makes assumptions piled on other assumptions. If you’re willing to run with that line of thinking then sure, lay blame at the feet of the Mets front office. They’re track record is poor enough that it just might stick.
Or, more charitably, you can admit that pitcher is very bad for your body. That Mark Buehrle and other rubber-armed goons are the exception to the rule. That sometimes things happen and guys like A.J. Burnett go from being labelled soft and easily injured to racking up as many innings as anybody in the league over the better part of a decade. Nobody knows. If it was easy to keep pitchers healthy ALL THE TIME, more professional baseball clubs with millions of dollars at stake would do it.
Hoping Matt Harvey’s injury doesn’t require TJ… Wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy
Can’t wait to hear “experts” break down Matt’s mechanics and explain why this happened. There’s no perfect way to throw a baseball guys
— Daniel Hudson (@DHuddy41) August 26, 2013
While a date with Dr. Andrews doesn’t require a funeral dirge as in years past, the process of ligament transfer surgery is no walk in the park. Matt Harvey, should he require it, can expect to be good as new and back on the mound in a year’s time. But the road is hard. And lonely. And not quite the slam dunk sure thing as we all assume. Hopefully he doesn’t require it but, if he does, wish him good luck.
Wish Mets fans good luck as they go from anticipating a quick turnaround back to respectability to another year with Jon Niese as they ace. They can still put the pieces in place for Harvey’s return and turn themselves into a fine club in the process, should they opt for that route. As for baseball fans at large? Well, time to encase Jose Fernandez in bubble wrap, I suppose.
And the rest
Speaking of A.J. Burnett, learn about his magical knuckle curve. [Fangraph]
The Astros aren’t a businessmen, but they are a business, men. [ESPN]
Brett Lawrie is not a business so much as a walking advert for the Bro Life
Brush up on your french with Monsieur Cistulli. [Notgraphs]
The Death of a Superstar Manager [Grantland]
Bomb threat at Camden Yards? Yikes. [Balty Sun]
Ichiro, always the best, even when he’s at his worst.
Ichiro: "If I could've just gone straight home from right field, I would have. I was that embarrassed." #Yankees
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) August 27, 2013