The future looked so bright for the boys from Queens. The future may still be bright, but it may have gotten pushed a little further away with the news this afternoon that starting pitcher and rotation foundation Matt Harvey has a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow.
The diagnosis came as a shock to everyone, including Harvey. According to the New York Ace, he felt a little tightness and stiffness during his most recent start against the Tigers on Saturday, in which he uncharacteristically gave up a whopping 13 hits. He had good velocity, but didn’t appear to be have the normal mastery, crispness and control of his pitches.
Harvey has also been feeling some forearm tightness since he was the National League starter in July’s All-Star Game. As a precaution, Harvey and the team decided to have him undergo an MRI this afternoon. It was then that the partial tear was discovered.
After Saturday’s loss, Harvey is 9-5 on the season with a 2.27 ERA. The seventh pick overall of the 2010 draft, Harvey leads the National League with 191 strikeouts in 178.1 innings pitched and was considered a top candidate for the NL Cy Young Award, likely trailing only Dodgers staff ace Clayton Kershaw in the running for that award.
The plan for now is to do everything possible to avoid reconstructive surgery that would potentially cost Harvey another full other season.
Harvey is just 24 years old, and has emerged as one of the National League’s most effective starting pitchers in this his first full season in the big leagues. He had given Mets fans more than a glimmer of hope for what the future might bring while the organization has been trudging through its current rebuilding process.
While this most certainly will not be a career-threatening injury, but it will be a major setback if, in fact, Harvey will need to undergo elbow surgery.
Harvey, general manager Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins spoke on Harvey’s injury at a press conference this afternoon. Here are some highlights from their time at the podium.