The way the New York Mets handle injuries invites questioning, and now they’re mishandling Matt Harvey.
With a 58-78 record that has them 24 games back in the NL East, the New York Mets are playing out the string in September. Getting any remaining healthy players to the end of the season unscathed has to be a priority, as much as that can be controlled by how a team handles players’ health.
Monday morning, the Mets announced four players are having season-ending surgery. Infielders Amed Rosario (finger) and Wilmer Flores (nose) are also banged up, but not necessarily facing season-ending absences.
Matt Harvey recently returned after missing over two months with a shoulder injury, and he was rocked by the Houston Astros for seven runs on eight hits in two innings on Saturday. He also missed a huge chunk of last season with a shoulder problem that led to surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, and let’s not forget Tommy John surgery sidelined Harvey for all of the 2014 season.
All of those health concerns, and a long-lost season, are not stopping the Mets from doing something stupid.
It seems manager Terry Collins is deflecting a bit toward Harvey, who apparently wants to get back on the mound as soon as possible. Harvey did “only” throw 70 pitches against Houston on Saturday, the Mets have been here before with one of their best pitchers this season.
Noah Syndergaard insisted on pitching through an arm issue in late-April, citing that he knew his body better than anyone. He also hasn’t pitched since an abbreviated outing on April 30, due to what was diagnosed as a partially torn right lat. “Thor” may return before the season ends, but that’s far from certain.
Injuries can’t always be prevented, and the Mets have been hit hard this year. But they aren’t doing themselves any favors either, and Collins letting Harvey essentially determine when he makes his next start is the latest example.