After last night’s 16 inning win in San Francisco, Mets manager Terry Collins divulged that Matt Harvey has been pitching through a blister on his right (throwing hand) index finger. There were a few instances last night when Harvey could be seen looking down at his hand, and the above explains why. Here’s what Collins had to say regarding the blister and Harvey’s status for his last first half start and the All-Star Game:
Collins said either Harvey will have a shorter-than-normal outing Saturday in Pittsburgh or will be skipped entirely (with Carlos Torres presumably stepping in) so that Harvey can be ready to pitch in the All-Star Game.
When reporters asked Harvey about the blister, he noted that it cropped up three starts ago and that it prevented him from throwing his between starts bullpen session this week. According to Harvey, the blister negatively impacts his control at times but isn’t a big deal. When informed that Terry Collins might limit his innings next time out or skip that start entirely, Harvey said he would adhere to whatever the organization decided, but that he would prepare as if he’s starting.
On the postgame show, Ron Darling said that pitchers dealing with blisters and pitching through them is common, and that the pitch that’s probably being negatively impacted the most is Harvey’s slider. When asked what he’d do, Darling said he’d give Harvey the extra day and start him Sunday instead of Saturday. However, it doesn’t appear likely that will happen.
Instead, expect the Mets (as Collins said) to either limit Harvey’s innings on Saturday or skip the start entirely so the blister can heal before his (likely) All-Star Game start.
There are some who think the Mets should simply shut Harvey down now and prevent him from pitching in the All-Star Game, but that just doesn’t seem necessary. Harvey has been pitching with this issue for three starts, so there’s no reason why he can’t throw an inning or two in the All-Star Game with it.
With the Mets looking to limit Harvey’s innings this season, skipping his last first half start to ensure he gets to pitch at home in the All-Star Game wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Conceivably, it would allow him to take the ball one extra time in September.
Is it completely out of the realm of possibility that this blister issue results in Harvey missing the All-Star Game? No. However, I just don’t see it happening. He’s been pitching through it, and his schedule has been adjusted to allow for him to make the All-Star Game start in his home ballpark.
The blister issue is something to monitor in the coming days, but all signs point to Harvey taking the ball to start the All-Star Game on Tuesday night at Citi Field.