As you all probably know by now, New York Mets ace pitcher Matt Harvey has a torn elbow ligament. Harvey has said that he is going to try everything he can do to avoid surgery, but that appears to be unlikely. Chances are that Harvey will have to undergo Tommy John surgery that would probably leave him off of a major league mound until 2015.
Harvey burst on to the scene this season as he was one of the most dominating pitchers in the game, especially early in the year. With his high 90s fastball that reaches 100 mph at times, a devastating slider that sits in the low 90s and an incredible changeup, Harvey was simply unhittable at times this season. Unfortunately, it may be a long time before we see Harvey’s stuff on display again.
Tommy John surgery is not uncommon for pitchers. Most doctors say that the need for the surgery comes from overuse. So that makes me wonder, is there anybody to blame for the Harvey’s injury?
The first place to look would be the Mets. Harvey has thrown 178.1 innings in 26 starts this season, which is the most he has ever thrown in professional baseball. 2013 was Harvey’s first full season in the big leagues, so it was expected for him to throw more innings than ever before.
Should the Mets have been more careful and put an innings cap on Harvey? Sure, it is easy to say that now, but I do not think the Mets were out of line in any way in this situation. The team has nothing to be playing for, so I am sure that they would have shut down Harvey eventually, but 178 innings seems too early.
Harvey does not appear to have a past of extreme overuse. He is a very talented pitcher, so I am sure that he has logged a lot of innings from Little League up until now, but there is nothing that stands out that makes you think that he was wrongly used.
When it comes down to it, I do not think that there really is anybody to blame in this situation. Throwing 100 mph fastballs and ripping 92 mph sliders is not the greatest thing for an elbow. I just think that Harvey has put stress on his elbow his entire life and got a little unlucky. It happens.
At 24-years-old, Harvey is still very young and has a long career ahead of him. I am sure he will come back strong, just as many MLB pitchers have before him.
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