Matt Harvey’s first start of the season may be the home opener
Matt Harvey, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since August of 2013 due to his recovery from Tommy John surgery, may have to wait just a bit longer for his long awaited return to the majors.
According to Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, Harvey’s first start of 2015 may be the home opener at Citi Field on April 13 instead of Opening Day in Washington, D.C. on April 6.
Harvey, 25, had Tommy John surgery in October of 2013, meaning he’ll be close to 18 months post-surgery this April.
If the Mets do hold Harvey back until the home opener, it will almost certainly be a calculated move on their part – not the result of Harvey needing extra time.
The fact that the Mets are floating this idea now suggests they’re basing it off two reasons.
The first reason is that Harvey will have some type of innings limit this season, though the Mets have said it’s a flexible number they will not be revealing.
At some point during the season, the Mets will need to skip Harvey’s starts or give him some time off in order to keep him active through October should the Mets make the playoffs. Some of that time off might as well be the first week of the season on the road.
The second reason is that by holding Harvey back for the home opener, the Mets are all but assuring themselves a sellout and a fantastic atmosphere on Opening Day at Citi Field. That reasoning certainly can’t be argued with from a marketing and excitement-building point of view.
Who starts the opener in Washington, D.C. if Harvey doesn’t is unclear, and it will likely come down to whether or not Mets manager Terry Collins insists on going with seniority over ability and/or whether Sandy Alderson has any influence on his decision.
If it’s not Harvey, it wouldn’t be surprising if any of the other four expected possibilities – Jacob deGrom, Jon Niese, Zack Wheeler, or Bartolo Colon – gets the ball on April 6 against the Nationals.
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