New York Mets‘ ace Matt Harvey‘s torn UCL in his pitching elbow, with the strong possibility of having Tommy John Surgery, is and will be such a tremendous loss for the Mets for the rest of the 2013 season and maybe even the entire 2014 season.
However, not everything following Harvey’s injury could be bad. Yes, of course with any injury that serious you are going to have worst case scenarios, but you also have to look at the positives even when things are going tough and I believe there are indeed best case scenarios following Harvey’s injury as well.
So let’s start on a positive note and talk about the best case scenarios following Harvey’s injury first.
For the rest of this season, and next season if Harvey officially decides on Tommy John Surgery, us Mets’ fans can see just how good Zack Wheeler is and if he can handle being “the guy”, the ace, of the Mets starting rotation in Harvey’s absence. This hopefully will make Wheeler better as a pitcher and make him a lethal No. 2 starter when Harvey comes back.
Another positive would be that we can get some sneak previews and see the raw talent of the young starters the Mets’ have down in the minors earlier than expected. We can get a very good feel of just how good, or bad, the Mets’ future starting pitchers are. From what we are all hearing, these pitchers like Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, plus a few more are all the real deal, and if Harvey is out all of next year, a spot in the rotation just opened up for one of these guys. Plus with the young arms the Mets have down in the minors that are ready to step up to the big leagues indeed means that Daisuke Matsuzaka will for sure not make the team next year and we can start dancing in the streets.
One more positive is that when Harvey does come back, hopefully after he ops to take the surgery to avoid future arm troubles, he comes back stronger than ever, which does happen to a lot of pitchers after they have had Tommy John Surgery.
Can you imagine what a stronger Harvey would be like?
He already throws 98 MPH and has great breaking stuff so just imagine if he becomes even stronger in two years? Harvey could indeed challenge Clayton Kershaw for the Cy Young Award in two years if that proves to be the case.
Now unfortunately it is time to weigh in with the negatives, or worse case scenario following Harvey’s injury.
For one, Wheeler regresses as a starter as he cannot handle being the ace of the staff which in turn hurts his confidence and he is never the same pitcher.
Another one would be that we find out the Mets greatly overrated their young arms in the minors and the Mets are stuck in mediocrity for more years to come.
And finally, the biggest negative, Matt Harvey comes back weaker from the surgery, loses velocity on all of his pitches, and the most promising young pitcher the Mets have had in decades becomes no more than an average pitcher. Not only would that kill Harvey’s career, but it would completely destroy the Mets’ plans of making a serious playoff push in a few years and trying to capture a World Series title. This by far, is the worst that can happen to the Mets, and as a Mets fan I will just hope and pray that this worst case scenario never occurs.
Harvey is a great young pitcher, but only time will tell if he is to get better and become a dominant elite force in this league for years to come or just a flash in the pan and the next victim on MLB Network’s countdown of the best “what could have beens.”