Matt Harvey has a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, which will end his season and may require Tommy John surgery.
Harvey will wait two to three weeks for swelling to go down before deciding whether to have surgery.
In the meantime, there are questions…
In the Bergen Record, Bob Klapisch wonders why Sandy Alderson, Harvey and Terry Collins were not more proactive in diagnosing the injury:
“Warrior that he is, Harvey downplayed the discomfort, telling his bosses it was nothing unusual, nothing more than the cost of doing business with nuclear heat. But given the Mets’ abysmal record of managing injuries, why weren’t they proactive when it was clear Harvey wasn’t improving? There’s nothing normal about forearm tenderness that doesn’t heal. Again, Harvey ignored every warning sign, noting, “There was no shooting pain down my arm and in my hand.” But what would’ve been the downside to slipping that arm into an MRI tube?”
Alderson said Monday that Harvey had been getting preventative treatment on his elbow since Spring Training, though he did not have any abnormal pain just some “forearm tightness.” There was no indication of tenderness in the elbow until after his last start. Nevertheless, “He’s been treated for forearm issues for some time,” the GM said.
In the Daily News, John Harper writes: “It’s fair to wonder why the Mets didn’t act sooner. … It also seemed curious that Collins said he wasn’t aware Harvey had been getting treatment for the forearm tightness. Weren’t the Mets supposed to have solved the injury follies that haunted them in recent years? Finally, as SNY analyst Bob Ojeda noted, if Harvey had any forearm issue, someone should have at least stopped him from throwing so many sliders.”
Alderson said doctors had been more than satisfied with the condition of Harvey’s elbow ligaments… up until this most recent exam, of course. In the end, Alderson was suggesting the injury was mostly unavoidable, even with the innings cap he instituted earlier in the year.
“Terry Collins had expressed concern throughout the season that Harvey’s full-throttle, upper-90s fastball from wire-to-wire during outings might end up costly,” Adam Rubin writes for ESPN New York. “The manager had implored the ace to dial it back at points during games and be content with coaxing groundouts with low-90s fastballs.”
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
I understand that some want Harvey to go under the knife now, but a) the team can’t order him to have surgery, it’s his call, and b) it’s foolish to operate with so much swelling in the elbow. So, we will all wait…
In regards to finding a scapegoat, I think it’s always smart to ask questions about who knew what and when. However, it’s also true that injuries just happen. Pitchers get hurt. It’s what they do.
I think Klapisch brings up a good point, because it does seem odd Harvey was allowed to throw so hard for so long, considering the treatment he was getting. At the same time, the team had a plan, there was a limit, he was being examined, the Mets were skipping his starts, but even the most prudent approach doesn’t always matter… just ask the Nationals and Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg was essentially put in bubble wrap — no one was more protected than he was — and he still couldn’t avoid injury.
This hurts. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. The Mets have conditioned me to see baseball as a three-ring circus with clown cars and steel cage battles, so my instinct is to assume Harvey’s injury could be avoided. But, maybe it was inevitable. Or maybe it’s just bad luck… again.
In the meantime, Sandy, can you ask Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard to start sleeping in a TemperPedic MRI machine, encased in ice and wrapped in Styrofoam? Thanks.