Following Monday’s revelation that New York Mets rookie starter Matt Harvey has a torn ligament in his right elbow that will force him to miss the remainder of the season, and could result in him having to undergo Tommy John surgery, the baseball world, especially in the Big Apple, is in shock. And of course Harvey is, as well.
“When I heard the news I was pretty shocked,” Harvey told USA TODAY Sports on Monday. “I’m still very optimistic. I’m going to do everything I can so I don’t have to get surgery, whether it is strengthening areas in my shoulder and elbow, or a lot of stretching and making sure I stay out of the doctor’s office.”
Myself and many others aren’t so optimistic, and from my own personal perspective, it’s because I’ve seen plenty of my beloved Atlanta Braves forced to have Tommy John surgery over the past few years: starting pitchers Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy in 2011 and 2012, respectively, and left-handed relievers Jonny Venters and Eric O’Flaherty this season.
With Harvey’s status in question, the Mets’ outlook for 2014 is, once again, bleak at best.
The 24-year-old right-hander teamed with fellow first-year hurler Zack Wheeler to give New York one of the top young starting duos in MLB, and kept the team around the .500 mark over the past few months after a horrendous start to the season. This provided Mets fans with a glimmer of hope that they would soon see a winning club again.
With their first legitimate ace since Johan Santana had come to town in a trade with the Minnesota Twins, things were finally looking up for the Mets, who haven’t made the playoffs since 2006, and haven’t had a winning season since 2008 during Santana’s first year with the team.
After the injury to Harvey, Wheeler will likely have to step in as the team’s No. 1 starter, unless general manager Sandy Alderson is able to make a major move, which seems unlikely.
Consequently, it appears that 2014 will be another tough season for fans of New York’s National League squad.
But hey, they’ve still got the New York Jets, right?