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Sometimes I choose not to weigh in on highly discussed topics pertaining to the Mets because so much has circulated about it already and its hard to put a different spin on it. Also, by looking at the title, it would be hard to decipher between my article and the other articles that are recycled, copied, pasted and repeated over the course of a day. But, with the injury to Mets RHP Dillion Gee probably costing the rest of the season, I really think its a no-brainer for the Mets to replace him in the rotation with RHP Matt Harvey.
Harvey has proven he can handle AAA
with his 7-4 record, 3.39 ERA
, 156 Ks in 135 2/3 IP. Thoughts within the Mets organization were that they wanted to call him up when they knew he would be there to stay. There are roughly 15 starts left between now and the end of the season. Its safe to say that Harvey may not be able to pitch well into September though there has been no talk of an innings cap. In my opinion, there is little more that he can accomplish at Buffalo and his next challenge should be in the majors right now.
It would be different if the Mets rotation had held up as it had for the majority of the first half. Johan Santana, RA Dickey, Jonathon Niese
and Gee had made all their starts and a healthy Chris Young had slotted into the fifth spot vacated by Mike Pelfrey. I would not have said Harvey should fill a spot already occupied. Nor would I suggest he replace a pitcher that was to only miss a couple starts. To me, now is the perfect storm. The Mets have a need at the back of the rotation. Its not like Harvey is coming in to be the savior. And if he struggles, he can go back to AAA and make a return in September.
Its not like there are better options for the Mets now. Its very unlikely they will make a trade for a starting pitcher. Right now, Miguel Batista
is slotted to make the 5th starter’s next start, which right now seems to be a week from Saturday, 7/21 (assuming the Mets skip the fifth spot the first time through). Other AAA options are Garrett Olson, who has pitched to a 5.08 ERA and prospect Jeurys Familia who has a 4.98 ERA. Chris Schwinden
should not be an option, as he was outrighted off the 40 man roster.
The only other option that would make any sense is RHP Jeremy Hefner
, who is 4-2, 2.50 ERA in 7 starts (8 games) in AAA and 1-3, 5.64 ERA in 3 starts (11 games) for the Mets. He seemed more comfortable as a starter and got hit pretty hard as a reliever. But its pretty clear, the path is set for Matt Harvey to make his MLB debut soon. While it was unlikely Harvey would be brought up before September, it has become pretty clear the one scenario has worked itself out.
Perhaps this decision may have not needed to come up. As I have mentioned before, it was pretty obvious GM Sandy Alderson
went with the bare minimum needed to get by this spring. The team had the fewest catchers in camp out of all the teams in the grapefruit league. Maybe if they had an experienced pitcher or two pitching in AAA, Harvey would not stick out as the best option at this point. Lets face it, how many bad Batista starts are fans going to see before they start calling for Harvey? The future has to start sometime, why not now?