As if the injury to David Wright wasn’t enough, the New York Mets‘ worst nightmare may come true, as their young ace Matt Harvey heads to the disabled list with an injury that could be a precursor to Tommy John surgery.
Harvey is coming off what could be his worst outing of the season against the Detroit Tigers over the weekend, which prompted the Mets to talk about shutting him down for the season. That decision has now been taken out of their hands by a partial tear to Harvey’s UCL. Harvey’s injury is a terrible blow to the Mets’ immediate future, and could have a devastating effect on their long-term future.
Even before Harvey’s injury, the Mets’ rotation was wearing thin after season-ending injuries to Jeremy Hefner and Jenrry Mejia, turning a six-man rotation into a four-man rotation. The Mets became so desperate for pitchers that could eat up innings, that they actually signed Daisuke Matsuzaka for the remainder of the season. Harvey’s injury opens up yet another spot in their rotation, with a little over a month left in the season, as the Mets will be unable to bring up some their top pitching prospects due to innings limitations.
As for the long term, if Harvey were to have Tommy John Surgery, it would undoubtedly knock him out for most, if not all, of the 2014 season. The Mets have had a strong second half, and looked to be a team that could be competitive in 2014 on the basis of their starting rotation, which would be headlined by Harvey. But if Harvey is unavailable for 2014, it would change the way the Mets approach the offseason, as well as their expectations for 2014. It would also cast some doubt over whether Harvey would be able to regain the form he’s had this season, post surgery.
Mets fans shouldn’t jump the gun and assume Harvey will have surgery; after all, Jon Niese was able to avoid surgery for a potentially serious shoulder issue. But just the fact that Harvey is being shut down for the season is a cause for concern, and no matter how you look at it, Harvey going to the disabled list is a crushing blow for a franchise that was perhaps just starting to believe again.