After visiting on Monday with the noted Dr. James Andrews, multiple reports say Matt Harvey will try to rehab his elbow rather than have Tommy John surgery right away.
The reports say Harvey will rehab for a month or two, then attempt to throw. If things don’t improve, he would then get the surgery.
This actually seems like a very prudent decision. If he gets the surgery tomorrow, he would miss all of 2014. So why not wait a couple of months and see if rehab works? If not, he’ll have the surgery in December and miss the season anyway.
The only drawback is that if rehab seems to be working but then Harvey blows out the elbow in Spring Training or early in the season. Then he would miss 2014 and part of 2015 as well.
It is difficult to fault Matt Harvey’s decision. While it is not known what Andrews said to him, anyone would want to avoid surgery if they can. Plenty of pitchers have played with partially torn ulnar collateral ligaments and never required surgery; Roy Halladay most famously, who had a long conversation with Harvey about it a couple of weeks ago.
Sandy Alderson seems to be going about his business assuming Matt Harvey will miss the season. That is smart. If Alderson does acquire a pitcher but then Harvey is ready to go, no problem; you can never have too much pitching. And besides every team is always looking for pitching, so trading an extra pitcher should not be a problem.