Collins Says Harvey Won’t Pitch in 2014
Fans of the New York Mets will be happy to know that Matt Harvey is doing just fine in his rehab from Tommy John surgery. Manager Terry Collins wants them know that does not mean Harvey will be back on the field this season.
“He wants to try to get back here to help,” Collins said, according to ESPN. “And I explained to him, ‘I understand that. But … you have got to understand the big picture. And the big picture is 2015. So back off.'”
Collins added that despite speculation of the contrary, Harvey will not pitch in a game this season.
Harvey, who has been rehabbing in Port St. Lucie, Florida, has said for some time that his goal was to get back on a major league mound this season, even though he suffered a partially torn Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) just last August. Harvey reiterated the goal in a radio interview with ESPN New York 98.7 on Wednesday.
“I felt like I was easily throwing into the low- to mid-90s, with pretty much no effort,” Harvey told the station after throwing a 27-pitch bullpen earlier that day. “I know there’s a process, but as a competitor I want to get out there as soon as possible.”
Collins, while understanding of his ace’s desire to compete, needs him to slow down and be cautious. Jeremy Hefner, another Mets pitcher rehabbing from Tommy John, just had a major setback. It looks like he will need to repeat the surgery.
“I’m not worried about Matt,” Collins said. “He’s going to be fine. I know he’s going to be fine. He’s going to get through the process. He’s not going to pitch this year. I’m settled with that. He’s settled with that. And I’ve just told him you’ve got to take a look at the big picture and you’ve got to be careful what you’re doing and what you’re saying, because you have to be here next year. We can’t afford to have what happened to Jeremy happen to you.”
Collins could not be more sound in his reasoning. The Mets, while mathematically still in the race, are 10.5 games out of first place and are playing under .500. If this was a playoff-bound team, the argument could be made to bring back a pitcher of Harvey’s caliber so quickly. However, that is not the case, so there is little reason to rush the star back.
The risk heavily outweighs the reward.
The Mets, with the addition of a bat or two this offseason, have a real chance to contend in 2015. They will have a loaded rotation, and they need Harvey at the front of it.
Collins is hoping that message got through to Harvey.
“Now, does he get it? You’d have to ask him,” Collins said. “I mean, I can’t answer that for him. I just trust him. I just trust him that he gets it. So we’ll see.”
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