I never thought I would write these words after the way he pitched last season, but Matt Harvey could become a problem for the Mets in 2014.
Once again on Saturday Harvey made it clear he wants to pitch this year, tweeting “2014 Harvey day will happen” (By the way, I hated that whole “Happy Harvey Day” thing whenever he pitched last year. I just think it is silly and annoying.).
The Mets insist that Matt Harvey will not climb a big league pitching mound in 2014, regardless of how quickly he rehabs from Tommy John surgery. Obviously Harvey feels differently, and thinks if his rehab is complete, then he should be allowed to compete (did I just start a chant similar to “if it doesn’t fit, then you must acquit”?!).
Matt Harvey also said that he would prefer to rehab in New York, where he lives and where he can be near his teammates. The Mets would prefer he remain in Port St. Lucie. He would likely get more medical and less media attention down South. And that’s the way the Mets clearly want it; they do not want Harvey and his desire to pitch to become a story and a distraction.
Harvey should rehab wherever he wants. If he is happier in New York and he can get the proper work done, then the club should let him. The Mets should commend an injured player who wants to sit in the dugout every game with his teammates, cheering them on. It’s probably a lot easier to sit by the pool in Florida every night.
As far as whether Matt Harvey should pitch this season, I have already written that if the doctors say his rehab is done, then he should pitch. They should not push him, but if he’s ready to go, then he’s ready to go. End of story.
It would also give the Mets and their fans a psychological boost. If he does not pitch, there would still be questions next spring about Harvey. But if he could get in a couple of starts, those doubts would be erased. Remember when David Wright came back for the last couple of weeks of 2013? Had he not, we would be questioning whether his hamstring has healed properly. Now it is not even an issue.
I say let’s keep Matt Harvey happy and not alienate him, as the Mets often seem to do with their stars. We want him to be on this team for as long as possible.