On Friday, New York Mets fans got the news they have been dreading but expecting: ace Matt Harvey will go ahead with Tommy John surgery and will likely miss the entire 2014 season.
Harvey wanted to avoid the surgery at all costs and even attempted to rehab his elbow, beginning a throwing program in order to prove that he’s healthy. There was even talk of him participating alongside other Mets prospects in the Arizona Fall League as a way to test his arm.
However, Harvey has finally accepted what Mets doctors and the famed Dr. James Andrews agree on, which is that he needs to have Tommy John Surgery, and can’t afford to delay it too much longer.
As much as Harvey hates the idea of having the surgery and missing all of next season, it’s actually the right move for him as well as the Mets. Considering how common Tommy John Surgery is nowadays among pitchers, it’s likely that Harvey would need to have it at some point in his career, and it’s better that he has it while he’s still young and can bounce back from it quickly.
From the Mets’ perspective, it’s probably better to lose Harvey for the entire 2014 season than for any of the subsequent seasons. The Mets are on the verge of being competitive in 2014, and Harvey is a big reason why. However, with or without Harvey, there’s no guarantee that the Mets will be a serious playoff contender next season, as they have a lot of needs they’ll have to address during what should be an eventful offseason.
The Mets are more likely to have their roster put together and ready to compete at a high level in 2015, 2016 and beyond. It’s more important for Harvey to be healthy and leading the rotation for those seasons than in 2014, and having the surgery now will put him in position to be healthy and ready to go by the start of the 2015 season.
It will be tough for Harvey, the Mets and their fan base to watch him sit out all of 2014, but in the long run, it’s what is best for all three parties. It will make competing in 2014 a lot harder, but it will also help ensure that they are able to aim high when Harvey returns in 2015.