It’s no secret to anybody that Matt Harvey is the best pitcher the New York Mets have. When he went down near the end of August with the elbow injury, most Mets fans were bummed out, especially when it was revealed that Tommy John surgery may be an option. The Mets and Harvey are really trying to avoid that option at all costs, including seeing if he can just rehab the elbow.
One idea the Mets came up with to test that elbow is to see Harvey pitch in the Arizona Fall League. Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he spoke with Harvey, and there is a chance Harvey could pitch in the Fall League as a way of testing his arm in a competitive environment.
Now the main purpose of the Arizona Fall League is usually for minor league prospects to face live hitting. Pitching in the league would be good for the 24-year-old Harvey, as it will also allow him to see how his arm holds up.
There’s just one problem with this idea: Harvey might not be eligible to pitch in the league. Why? Because according to the league’s website, “No players with more than one year of credited Major League service as of August 31 are eligible, except a team may select one player picked in the most recently concluded Major League Rule 5 Draft.”
Harvey made his debut in 2012, making 10 starts that year, and then another 26 starts this year. So judging by that, it doesn’t look like Harvey can pitch. There could be a way around this, but it doesn’t look too likely.
Here’s the way I see this. I can understand that neither Harvey or the Mets want him to undergo Tommy John Surgery. Sure, a lot of players do make a full recovery, but they aren’t really the same after. When it comes to Harvey, I want the same pitcher to come back as he was before the injury, but I highly doubt that is going to happen. That said, I’m really not sure if this rehab is going to help his elbow or not.
If I was Harvey, I would take the surgery and make sure that my elbow is 100 percent. I know its going to mean he will miss an entire season, but at the same time, the team will get him back eventually. With him taking the chance on rehab, there is no promises he will come back and pitch the same way again.
With the surgery, the chances are greater that he comes back to normal vs. just rehabbing. Plus, I’m really not sure if this Arizona Fall League stint is going to go through. Even if it does, there’s no way to know if its going to help or hurt Harvey.
What do you think?