Mets Diamond Notes: Harvey Has Two Starts Left, Gee to Play Catch

By Matt Musico

Matt Harvey will be taking the mound tonight for the Mets, as they hope to even the series at one against Carlos Beltran and the St. Louis Cardinals. Mike Kerwick of the Bergen Record stated that the rookie right-hander has two more starts before New York decides to shut him down due to reaching his innings limit. Last week, we learned the limit would be in the neighborhood of 175 innings, and Harvey has logged 152.1 innings pitched between Triple-A and the Majors this season.

While with the Bisons for most of the season, Harvey went 7-5 with a 3.68 ERA in 20 starts and 110 innings pitched before he got the call to the Big Leagues, where he’s shown the potential he has. Before tonight, he’s 3-3 with a 2.76 ERA in 7 starts with the Mets; opposing hitters are batting .197 off him and he’s struck out 49 men in 42.1 innings pitched. Shutting Harvey down makes sense in an effort to preserve him arm; he threw 135.2 innings last season for St. Lucie and Binghamton, and Sandy Alderson doesn’t want him to have a drastic jump in his innings total from last year to this year. With the Mets seemingly out of contention and plenty of starters coming up from Triple-A, shutting Harvey down is an easy decision for New York.

Speaking of September call-ups, the Mets made it official who would be activated to join the team tonight at Busch Stadium. As expected, Jeurys Familia, Jenrry Mejia, Elvin Ramirez, and Jordany Valdespin will be making the trip from Buffalo to St. Louis. In addition to those four players, Justin Hampson and Fred Lewis will also be joining the team, as Rob Johnson and Tim Byrdak were both transferred to the 60-day DL to make room for them on the 40-man roster. Bisons manager Wally Backman will be joining the MLB coaching staff next Sunday in Atlanta, marking the second time in two years he’s gotten the call himself.

Dillon Gee made another step toward his recovery yesterday, as beat reporters said on Twitter that he was expecting to play catch yesterday. This is the first time Gee has been able to since he received permission from the doctors after repairing an artery in his throwing shoulder over the All-Star break. It’s good to see the right-hander taking steps toward being a piece in New York’s 2013 rotation, as he’s expected to grab a spot. In 2012, Gee went 6-7 with a 4.10 ERA in 17 first half starts.

From what it looks like, Gee is on track with his recovery, as it was expected for him to start a throwing program around the first of September. He now has plenty of time to ensure he’s healthy, and get himself ready for Spring Training in February. Mike Pelfrey is also expected to make an appearance in the visitor’s clubhouse this week, as he will be making the trip from Wichita to see his teammates for the first time since his surgery.