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Matt Harvey, His UCL, and the Search for a Silver Lining


Aug 26, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher

Matt Harvey

speaks about his injury during a press conference before a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. It was announced today that Harvey has a partially torn UCL. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

There has been so much doom and gloom in the world of the Mets today, and for good reason.  It is difficult to find any reason for optimism when the team’s young ace pitcher could be days away from Tommy John surgery.  But if you try really hard and look past the depression of this afternoon and the coming days or weeks you may find that the Mets are not ruined forever.  So pick yourself up out of that pile of tears and try to stick with me here.

The Mets have so much young pitching talent in the organization.  Matt Harvey is a large part of that talent but there are players like Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero who are still working towards the big leagues.  Zack Wheeler has less than half a season of big league experience and could certainly use next season to fully establish himself as a front of the rotation starter.  By 2015 the Mets could have a special staff for Matt Harvey to rejoin.

No matter how many times people say the timing of this injury stinks, it really could be worse.  The Mets still have questions to answer going into 2014 beyond the starting rotation.  They have to address the outfield, shortstop, and first base.  Much like the pitching staff coming together throughout next season, the rest of the team could finally take shape as well.  What could be better than Matt Harvey finally having a lineup that will give him some run support?

One of the best things to come out of this injury is a sense of direction.  The front office has repeatedly said they would spend this offseason because they know the Mets are close to competing.  2014 could still be a big year for the Mets but the Mets braintrust gets to choose how big the season really is.  This is a perfect opportunity for Sandy Alderson and the Wilpons to gain the faith of fans and still make a notable move or two.  Unfortunately, they could also lose the fans if they use this as an excuse to throw 2014 to the wolves and simply use it for more player development.

The Mets could have been hurt a lot worse by this injury.  They did not lose Matt Harvey in the middle of a pennant race.  They did not lose Matt Harvey while he was working as the role model for two other young starters.  They did not lose Matt Harvey after the Mets had decided on a definitive direction for the next full season.

The timing of this injury is frustrating.  2014 was supposed to be the first season the Mets started to succeed.  Now it will be another year of answering questions.  The great thing about Matt Harvey, though, is he became a constant this season.  There is so much to find out about the rest of the team that he will be the best possible addition for the 2015 Mets.

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