The Evolution of the Mets’ Stance Regarding Matt Harvey

Matt Harvey pitches tonight for Buffalo tonight against Toledo. You can and should watch live on SNY at 7pm. Odds are he’ll be starting for the Mets this Saturday, July 21 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Mets’ attitude toward Harvey’s potential ascendence to the Majors has changed in the last week since Dillon Gee was placed on the disabled list after he was diagnosed a blood clot in his shoulder, and then later had surgery to repair his artery.

This is the timeline of events and selected tweets about Harvey and Gee in the last week:

Tuesday, July 10
-”But Batista will join rotation soon. Source says #Mets deciding between lefties Edgin & Carson to fill roster spot in interim.” – Anthony diComo (Mets.com) 3:36 PM
-”If Young and Santana both come out of their starts in good shape, #Mets could delay that Batista start until second turn through rotation.” – diComo 3:34 PM.
-”TC just said Harvey is a long-term possibility for rotation, but not imminent. “I don’t want to put him in a situation where he can fail.”” – diComo 3:40 PM.

This is the plan. Start Batista short-term. The “plan” did not stand up for long.  

 

Wednesday, July 11
- “The arterial blood clot in Dillon Gee’s right shoulder has resolved and Dillon will be discharged from New York-Presbyterian Hospital today. During the next several days, Dillon will consider additional treatment options, including possible surgery, to prevent a recurrence of clotting in the same location.” – @Mets via Twitter beginning at 2:37 PM, compiled here.
- “TC obviously will have to readdress it. But don’t see how decision to go with Batista short term is reversed. Let him go 7/21, then reassess” – Adam Rubin (ESPNNY.com) 6:25 PM
- “”WE WANT HARVEY CLAP-CLAP CLAP-CLAP-CLAP” RT @AdamRubinESPN: Don’t see how decision to go with Batista short term is reversed.” – Andy McCullough (NJ.com) 6:26 PM

“For the record, Mets officials do not think Harvey is ready to thrive at the major-league level. They believe he can survive, though.” – Andy McCullough – 7:38 PM

Matt Harvey throws two scoreless innings for the International League in the AAA All-Star Game, hitting 97 mph on the gun, and finishing off his second strikeout with a nasty changeup

 

 

Thursday, July 12
- “When the first choice is Miguel Batista, Matt Harvey, who’s been excellent in his last five starts, looks even better: http://bit.ly/M52fMD” – Toby Hyde 10:50 PM
- “Mets official said Matt Harvey is not a consideration “now” for Gee’s spot. Sounds as if door might be open for later in year.” – Mike Puma (NY Post) 12:41 PM

…..
- “#Mets Statement: Dillon Gee will have surgery tomorrow on his right shoulder to replace a portion of damaged artery (-cont)” – @Mets – 3:32 PM
- “Collins does not rule out Harvey for next wed in Washington. Batista or Young more likely but Harvey “remote possibility.”” – Andy Martin0 4:39 PM
- “Harvey clearly on radar now. “We’re in the hunt,” Collins said. “This isn’t tryout camp.” Meaning if he’s best option got to use him” – David Lennon (Newsday) 5:15 PM
- “Collins said, in essence, if Matt Harvey is ready, then call him up.#HarveyBumaye - Andy McCullough 5:16 PM

Big afternoon for the Harvey-watch. The hours and minutes between 12:41 and 5:15 pm were huge. 

 

Friday, July 13
- “Terry Collins sets clock ticking on potential Matt Harvey call-up. #mets http://bit.ly/LOCwKH” - David Lennon 10:10 AM
- “Collins called using Harvey this turn for Gee “remote,” but at least he’ll be on the same day as Batista, assuming Batista goes Saturday too” – Adam Rubin 2:21 PM

Miguel Batista walked four of the nine batters he faces and gives up a hit in Atlanta, but Josh Edgin’s fine relief work saves him from giving up a run in the Mets’ 7-5 loss in Atlanta. In doing so, he gently bows out of contention for the Mets’ rotation. 

 

Saturday, July 14
- “Terry Collins said Saturday will be Harvey or Batista in all likelihood. Boatload of#Mets execs at Monday’s SNY-televised start for Buffalo” – Adam Rubin – 12:31 PM
- “Collins described Monday’s start for Harvey as an audition. A plethora of Mets officials will be there.” – Andy McCullough – 12:32 PM
- “Collins gave impression today that a good start by Harvey on Mon pretty much pencils him in for Sat at Citi.” #mets - David Lennon – 12:34 PM
- “Ready is a relative term. Harvey isn’t ready to be the pitcher the team hopes he can be one day. But he’s ready to be better than Batista.” – Andy McCullough 2:09 PM

Now, it’s Harvey’s rotation spot to lose.  

 

Sunday, July 15
Batista: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K in the Mets 6-1 loss in Atlanta.
Harvey: On the bus from Pawtucket to Buffalo after watching the Bisons 5-4 loss in 14 innings.

 

My personal opinion has not moved since last Wednesday night when I wrote the piece published Thursday morning, suggesting that the Mets were better off with Harvey instead of Batista. Nothing that has happened in the last four days has changed that. In fact, Batista’s performance Friday reinforced my thinking. The Mets’ use of Batista, on Friday and Sunday for one inning each time, is inconsistent with inserting him into the rotation.

There is no suspense.

Still, this chronology is funny, right? Harvey has thrown two innings in an exhibition game. In that time, the narrative has swung from “not ready” to “better than Batista.” Both statements are probably true.