Mets will now go with a six-man rotation, with or without Matt Harvey
Now that Steven Matz has been inserted into the rotation, the club will be using a six-man rotation for the rest of the regular season.
But of course, there’s just one catch.
As expected, Matt Harvey will be skipped at least once down the stretch of the season, Terry Collins said on Monday morning in Washington.
Instead of Harvey, Logan Verrett will be used in place of Harvey at certain times when Harvey’s place in the rotation comes up, although he did not offer a specific number of starts Verrett would make.
Originally, the Mets skipped Harvey in Denver with hopes they would not have to skip him again at any point through the remainder of the year. Then last week, Collins hinted Harvey would be skipped at least one more time during the regular season.
“S— changes,” Collins said.
Then this past weekend, Harvey’s agent, Scott Boras, took to the media to express concerns Harvey was about to exceed a supposed 180 inning limit which was set at the beginning of the season, with the club expecting he would get to 195 innings not including the playoffs.
On Saturday, Harvey was non-committal about pitching beyond his start against the Nationals on Tuesday. He then wrote in a post to the Players Tribune he intends to pitch in the playoffs, but did not say how much – if at all – he would pitch in the regular season beyond Tuesday’s start.
“Together, we are coming up with a plan to reach an innings limit during the season. It will be a compromise between the doctors and the Mets organization to get me, and the team, to where we need to be for our postseason run,” Harvey wrote on Sunday.
But first the Mets need to get to the playoffs, and they may need Harvey to do so.
But Sandy Alderson said on Monday in Washington Harvey will not make more than four regular season starts down the stretch of the season.
Anderson said the club explored the possibility of sending Harvey to the bullpen, but doctors concluded that was a greater health risk than the weight of added innings as a starting pitcher.
Alderson has said all of the club’s starting pitchers will be available the final week of the season as needed. And he said on Monday Harvey will make a start during the club’s final series of the season against Washington at Citi Field.
But he would only guarantee Harvey would make tomorrow’s start and a start in the final weekend if needed, and nothing more.
It would seem the club is trying to fit Harvey’s pitching schedule into the 180 innings limit.
But if the Mets need Harvey for a start in a scenario where the division lead is down to one or two games at any point between now and that final series, It’s hard to imagine Verrett getting the start instead.
All of this could have been avoided if Harvey had been agreeable to a six-man rotation at times earlier this season. Perhaps starts saved then could have been used in these meaningful September games.
Either way, there’s a long way to go, and he’s facing the biggest start of his life on Tuesday.
In essence, that’s a playoff game in and of itself.