5 Questions New York Mets Must Ask Following Matt Harvey Injury
The Matt Harvey Injury Has Rattled Mets Organization
The New York Mets' season went from bad to worse when it was announced that Matt Harvey had a slightly torn ulnar collateral ligament, which normally requires Tommy John surgery. This news came after a season in which Harvey took MLB by storm, putting up a 9-5 record with a 2.27 ERA in 178.1 innings pitched. The hope for the Mets was that Harvey and Zach Wheeler were the young guns that would form a 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation for the next 10-15 years, forming the type of dynamic duo that hadn't been seen in Queens since the days of Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry.
That development plan was reliant Harvey's right arm staying healthy and has been altered, if not completely thrown off course. At some point in the near future, Harvey is going to undergo Tommy John surgery, and will be out for 12-18 months afterwards. This mean's that there will be no 2014 season for Harvey, and no guarantees that he will return at the start of the 2015 season. One only needs to look at Johan Santana to see that arm injuries are a tricky thing and if not treated properly, they will continue to pop up in the future.
After the Mets face the fact that Harvey will be out for a lengthy period, they will then have to turn to evaluating their situation as an organization and figure out what they are doing moving forward. This will force the team to ask themselves a number of questions that will be difficult to answer, but their answers will change the course of the franchise moving forward.
We have picked out the five most important questions that the Mets must ask themselves.
5. Did the Mets Ignore Warning Signs From Harvey?
Harvey had been experiencing soreness in his shoulder for up to two months prior to the Mets shutting him down and having an MRI done, according to both him and General Manager Sandy Alderson. This does not necessarily knew that anyone knew the extent of the injury, but wouldn't it have been better just to get it checked out at the first hint of soreness? There is no excuse for the future of the franchise to be pitching when the Mets are 20 games out of the NL East if he feels even the slightest of soreness, and someone should be held accountable.
4. How Will Harvey's Injury Affect Zack Wheeler?
When speaking about the future, the Mets have always linked Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler's futures together. Harvey has always been a step ahead in terms of development and received a little more attention from the mainstream media than Wheeler; but with Harvey now out, that pressure will shift into Wheeler's corner. If Wheeler can nothandle this newfound attention, it is possible that he will never develop into the pitcher he is expected to be, which would mean Harvey's injury took out two pitchers instead of one.
3. Will Harvey Ever Be The Same Pitcher Again?
The track record of pitchers coming back from injuries to their ulnar collateral ligament is mostly hit and miss. Many pitchers come back at least at the level they were previously at, but others such as B.J. Ryan, Phil Humber, Kerry Wood and Johan Santana were never even close to to the same pitcher after being injured. If Harvey cannot return to the All-Star level he achieved this year, the Mets will have to change their plans of building a team around Harvey.
2. Is It Time To Trade David Wright?
With the Mets plans to be contenders on hold at least until the 2015 season, trading David Wright makes a lot of sense for both him and the franchise. For Wright, it makes sense to move on as he is already 30-years old and is entering the final few years of his career, where he can be a difference maker on a World Series-winning team. For the Mets, moving on from Wright makes sense because of the fact that without his salary, they would only have $13.55 million on the books for the 2014 season, allowing them to have more money to spend as they rebuild their roster. Moving on from each other would likely be difficult for both Wright and the Mets, but may be the best decision in the long run.
1. Is There Something Systematically Wrong With How The Mets Handle Pitchers?
After watching Jeremy Hefner, Johan Santana and Harvey all suffer major shoulder injuries in 2013, the Mets must evaluate whether they have an issue with how they handle pitchers throughout their organization. This could range from how they teach their pitchers to throw throughout their organization to evaluating the mechanics of specific pitchers through scientific analysis, and having them fix any issues they see. Something has been terribly wrong with the healthy of Mets pitchers in recent seasons, and taking a look within the organization seems like a wise decision at this point.