Cleat Geeks

How would You Handle Harvey?

darkKnightHarveyTonight Matt Harvey makes one of the biggest starts of his and his teams life. The Mets won the 1st game of the 3 game set and therefore would be guaranteed a series win and possibly a series sweep if they followed suit tomorrow. As for tomorrows game, that pitching match-up will feature the guy I would consider the Met’s ace Jacob deGrom and another guy caught up in this Tommy John innings pitched controversy, Steven Strasburg.

sb1Harvey’s agent Scott Boras conducted a study regarding Tommy John recipients similar to Harvey, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Boras looked at pitchers who never exceeded 200 innings in a season, had Tommy John surgery, then returned with a roughly 200 inning workload.

Four pitchers fit into the statistical bucket – Shaun Marcum, Josh Johnson, Jarrod Parker, and Kris Medlen. Three of them required a second Tommy John surgery while the fourth, Marcum, is quite familiar with the disabled list. Boras offers Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann as two examples who built their innings in a more carefully workload. Obviously, both pitchers have yet to experience another elbow related injury. But, Strasburg has not been without his health issues and has spent time on the DL for various other arm and shoulder ailments.

To be fair, any statistician would warn against taking this case study at face value. It’s interesting that all four pitchers have experienced continual health problems, but full statistical and medical analysis would surely be needed before assessing how these findings apply to other players.

Recently, the story took a surprising turn, as Harvey himself spoke up to back the 180-inning limit. Here are the details, via’s Anthony DiComo and the Record’s Matt Ehalt. Harvey told reporters today that he would be limited to 180 innings. He refused to answer questions about the playoffs.

harveyPitchingI’m going to always play, but like I said, I hired Dr. [James] Andrews to do my surgery, and I hired Scott for a reason, and that’s to prolong my career and put me in the best possible position,” said Harvey, who added that the 180-inning limit came from Andrews (although Harvey was unsure whether that included the playoffs).

Via FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, however, the Mets deny that Andrews backed a 180-inning limit. “He didn’t say 180 was the number,” says GM Sandy Alderson. “He was not categorical at all.” Rosenthal also tweeted that Andrews does not prescribe strict innings limits for patients returning from Tommy John surgery.

I see and understand both sides of the controversy. I think they both realize the many years of potential that are in the arm of Matt Harvey. But, like the Nationals of last year, it is difficult to simply shut down a guy who can dominate on the mound when you are trying to make it to the play-offs.harvey-pitching

I don’t think he should have a strict 180 innings limit. I think he should be monitored from start to start from here on out. But, I must say, in his last start the “Dark Knight” was left on the mound to long, and sending him back out for the last inning he worked was ludicrous on the part of the Mets. I think this way because there are different types of innings. There are innings where the pitcher is seemingly cruising, and there are innings where the pitcher is struggling in some way, shape or form.

Tonight, if Harvey is essentially cruising, then give him an extra day and have him make his next start. If not shut him down for a couple weeks and monitor his bullpen sessions. I do not see where this concept is so difficult.

Tonight is the biggest start is the young career of Matt Harvey, as well as the long standing history of the Mets. I for 1 will be watching. But, I am also curious. How would you handle Harvey? Feel free to leave your comments below.

Parts of this story came from Charlie Wilmoth and Brad Johnson

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