There’s no doubt that the season-ending elbow injury to ace Matt Harvey was a crushing blow for the New York Mets. But while Harvey optimistically tweeted that he would be ready by April 1, he needs to take a step back, put his ultra-competitive mentality aside and go ahead with Tommy John surgery.
Even without confirmation that surgery is absolutely necessary, there is too much Harvey risks by trying to rehab and return in time for the start of next season; there’s a chance Harvey could require surgery next spring anyway even if he attempts to avoid it.
If that happens to be the case, Harvey would waste over six months in which he could be recovering from the surgery, which would force him to not only lose all of the 2014 season, but part of the 2015 season as well.
Harvey would be better off having the surgery right away, losing the entire 2014 season, and doing his best to ensure he’s healthy and ready to start the 2015 season.
As much as Harvey would like to lead the Mets to great heights in 2014, they are still far away from being one of the top teams in the National League, and there is no guarantee that the Mets will be in the mix for a playoff spot in 2014, with or without Harvey.
Although the Mets would be at a huge disadvantage without Harvey in 2014, they wouldn’t necessarily be punting the season, and they could still be in a position to improve their performance from this season.
If Harvey were to have surgery right away and return in 2015, the Mets would still have Zack Wheeler and Jon Niese as key parts of their rotation; and by then, the Mets could also have Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero and several other top pitching prospects established in the big leagues.
It would certainly be painful for both Harvey and Mets’ fans if he were to miss the entire 2014 season. But with Tommy John surgery having such a high rate of success, there’s all the chance in the world for him to come back strong in 2015, when the Mets would be in much better shape to compete for a playoff spot.
This is why Harvey needs to make the smart move and have surgery as soon as possible.