After seeking a second opinion for the elbow injury that ended his season, New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey has decided to rehab his injury for six to eight weeks, start throwing and see how his arm responds, with the hope that he can avoid having Tommy John Surgery. It’s not the most conventional approach, but Harvey is determined to avoid surgery and be ready for the start of the 2014 season.
The safe approach would be for Harvey to have the surgery as soon as possible and hope to be full strength for the 2015 season. That might hinder the Mets’ chances of competing in 2014, but in the long run it would set up the Mets to compete year after year with a rotation led by Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and several of the Mets’ top pitching prospects.
Harvey is taking a risk because if he waits too long to have surgery or re-injures his elbow later on he risks not being healthy for the start of the 2015 season. Of course, there’s also a chance that Harvey will be fine after rehab and pitch in 2014 the same way he pitched throughout 2013.
Regardless of what happens, the Mets will enter the offseason for 2014 uncertain of Harvey’s future, which is a something that general manager Sandy Alderson has to be concerned about. Alderson has said that he would like to bring in a veteran starter to help anchor the rotation if Harvey is unavailable
However, until Alderson knows more he may not know how to proceed on the free agent front, especially if Harvey ultimately elects to avoid surgery, as his elbow could become a problem again without the surgery. This uncertainty around Harvey will difficult for Alderson to traverse this winter and creates one more issue for the Mets to deal with this offseason.