Matt Harvey will have Tommy John surgery

Matt Harvey has elected to have Tommy John surgery on the partial tear ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow, Sandy Alderson announced late Friday.

The surgery will cause him to miss the entire 2014 season.

Matt Harvey 1 polaroid“This was a more reasoned approach to the injury,” GM Sandy Alderson said, as to why Harvey decided to have surgery instead of proceeding with a throwing program. Alderson said Harvey had begun rehabbing, but not throwing.

Harvey and Alderson met on Friday to confirm the pitcher’s decision.

“I felt this would be the right decision. So, in that sense, I’m happy that Matt has reached that same conclusion,” Alderson said.

As for how this affects the team moving forward, Alderson said nothing has changed.

“This doesn’t change our plan at all,” Alderson said. “But, it does provide some clarity that we didn’t have.”

Alderson later mentioned that the Mets have two rotation spots open, outside of Jon Niese, Zack Wheeler and Dillon Gee. The GM said he would be a “little uncomfortable” filling those holes entirely from within the organization.

“It’s a possibility,” Alderson said, of calling on one of his young pitchers in the minors. “I don’t think it’s a scenario we would prefer.”

When can the Mets expect their All-Star pitcher back? Tommy John surgery usually takes a full calendar year to recover from, which will set Harvey up to return with enough time for spring training heading into the 2015 season. Alderson said the team is targeting a date of February 1, 2015.

“Each surgery is different, each rehab period is different, each individual pitcher is different, so we’ll just have to wait and see,” Alderson said. “I will confirm, though, that when he’s ready to pitch, he will be in the rotation. And, he’ll return to his prior form, which we all know was extraordinary this season.”

Dr. James Andrews will preform the surgery later this month, the team said.

To listen to Alderson’s talk with reporters, click here.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Thankfully, the front office and people connected to the team have been talking and planning like Harvey was going to have surgery, so I don’t think this is catching them off guard by any means. What’s more, I actually think this was their preferred way forward. In talking to people aware of their thinking, I never heard anyone say they hoped he gambled on his elbow. I’m sure they would have loved to see him pitch next season, but if he was eventually going to need surgery, I think they prefer him under the knife now, knowing 100 percent he’ll be ready for ALL of 2015.

Last week, I talked with Will Carroll about Harvey’s situation, the ins and outs of Tommy John surgery, how Nolan Ryan and Adam Wainright faced a similar scenario, how organizations try to protect their pitchers overall and the slow adaptation by teams of biomechanics, which you can listen to here:

To listen to Alderson’s talk with reporters, click here.

Jonas Schwartz chats with Andy Martino about Matt Harvey’s decision to have surgery.