Mets could skip Matt Harvey’s start this weekend

Matt Harvey


As the Mets continue to map out a plan to keep their young starting pitchers – specifically Matt Harvey – from exceeding their innings limits, the club has all but decided to skip one or more starts at times during the final month of the season.

But the Mets may take action sooner rather than later with Harvey in particular.

On Wednesday afternoon in Baltimore, Terry Collins said they are considering skipping Harvey as soon as this weekend when the Mets play the Rockies in Colorado.

On the one hand, this could make some sense. The Mets would be capitalizing on two off-days this week and spread his starts out by about 12 days, and that could be adequate to ensure they don’t lose Harvey at any point going forward. They’re also playing in Denver, which isn’t exactly a haven for pitchers. In theory, they could end up being innings which are wasted if he gives up a lot of runs. And, skipping a start now against a lesser team versus a start later when they might need him more is certainly the lesser of two evils.

This could be the thinking behind the strategy.

On the other hand, they’re up only 4 1/2 games at the moment, and that will change one way or another by the time they play the Rockies on Friday. If the lead shrinks, perhaps the Mets would be better off going to war with their best soldiers on the field now to try and expand upon their lead.

With all due respect to Logan Verrett, he is not Matt Harvey, and this is going to tax the bullpen no matter what whenever they decide to do this, as he can only go four or five innings anyway. That could have a major impact on the team for a stretch of days, and not in a good way, either.

This is a catch 22 without question. There is never a good time to skip one of the best pitchers in baseball, whether it’s April, August or September. If they don’t skip him now when it’s not advised, they’ll have to skip him later when it’s not advised.

Perhaps it would have been more appropriate to have considered skipping Harvey and Noah Syndergaard early in the first half, instead of watering down the rotation by experimenting with various forms six-man solutions with lesser pitchers.

Their goal is to get to the playoffs, and their goal is ensuring these pitchers pitch in the playoffs. But they can’t undermine their core strength and key to reaching those goals. While it’s important these guys remain healthy both in 2015 and beyond, beating themselves in the process hurts a lot more than an injury, especially if this strategy doesn’t solve that problem.

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