Matt Harvey

Noah Syndergaard
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The Mets won’t skip any more of Noah Syndergaard’s starts

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The Mets skipped Noah Syndergaard‘s last turn through the starting rotation, and that will be the only time they’ll do it through the end of the season, ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin reports. Going forward, they’ll pitch the right-hander once every six games.

Their initial plan was to alternate skipping Syndergaard and Matt Harvey‘s starts. Syndergaard, in his rookie season, has a 3.31 ERA with a 129/29 K/BB ratio over 122 1/3 innings spanning 122 1/3 innings. He also threw 29 2/3 innings with Triple-A Las Vegas.

The Mets’ handling of their young starters has been a subject of controversy lately, as Harvey and the Mets disagreed on a 180-innings limit and there was concern he wouldn’t be available in the post-season.

Matt Harvey says he has always considered 180 innings as his limit

on August 16, 2015 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.
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Mets right-hander Matt Harvey spoke with reporters Saturday afternoon to address the brewing controversy over his innings limit. If there was any doubt about whether he’s on the same page with his agent, Scott Boras, we can officially put that to rest.

According to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, Harvey said he has always considered 180 innings as his limit for the season. He also refused to answer any questions about his availability for the playoffs and said that he’s merely focused on his next scheduled start Tuesday against the Nationals.

Here are some quotes via Matt Ehalt of the Bergen Record:

Harvey, who is in his first season back from Tommy John surgery, is currently at 166 1/3 innings for the year. Boras has said that Dr. James Andrews, Harvey’s surgeon, recommended that his client be shut down at 180 innings while Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has said that no hard cap was provided. Either there was a huge miscommunication here or somebody isn’t telling the truth about the timeline of events. Remember, Harvey was vocal about his dislike for a six-man rotation, which one would think he should have been on board with if managing his innings and pitching deeper into the season was the goal.

The Mets still plan to have Harvey finish out the regular season and be available for a potential postseason run, but it appears that they’ll be doing so against the player’s wishes. Oh boy. While you can’t blame a player for looking out for his long-term health and earning potential, these comments aren’t going to go over well in New York.

Sandy Alderson is not going to “roll over” for Scott Boras and shut down Matt Harvey

Sandy Alderson
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Earlier today we learned that the Mets and Scott Boras are in the midst of a dispute over Matt Harvey’s workload down the stretch. Boras thinks that Harvey should be shut down at 180 innings — he’s currently at 166 — and the Mets believing that his workload was never subject to a hard innings cap and that Boras bringing that up now is out of bounds.

This is not the first time we’ve seen this, of course. The Washington Nationals had a young ace, Stephen Strasburg, coming off of Tommy John surgery in 2012. The Nats said early and often that year that Strasburg, also a Boras client, was subject to a hard innings cap. And he was. They shut him down, he wasn’t available for the playoffs and to this day many people blame that shutdown for the Nats’ failure to advance. Heck, some people even blamed the shutdown on the Nats’ subsequent struggles in the next season.

I was not a big fan of Strasburg’s shutdown, but it’s unreasonable to suggest that his shutdown was the reason the Nats failed to advance in the playoffs (they had much bigger problems and the guy who took his place in the rotation pitched pretty darn well). The notion that the Nats 2013 problems were the result of the shutdown is downright ludicrous. But it did become a big story that sucked up a lot of oxygen that late summer and early fall and people still talk about it today. They’ll no doubt be comparing the Harvey situation to the Strasburg situation in the coming days and weeks, depending on how it’s handled.

But however that shakes out, it seems that Sandy Alderson is not going to take the path Mike Rizzo took and won’t be getting on Scott Boras’ train any time soon:

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Nor would I, assuming I had a plan in place to begin with. Which Alderson said he did and which only now Boras is second guessing.

With the caveat — a big caveat — that in no instance would it be wise to ignore doctors along the way, If I were Alderson, I’d be pretty loathe to give Boras the time of day on this stuff. I’d talk to my pitcher and ask him his thoughts and, assuming he’s wired the same way every other athlete is wired, I’d assume he’d be on board with doing whatever is in the Mets’ best interests to win a championship this year. Which is totally within this team’s grasp.

That doesn’t mean being reckless or pitching him too much. Heck, the Mets have a big lead at the moment and can afford to skip him or rest him quite a bit. But it certainly doesn’t mean shutting down one of the best young pitchers in the game simply because his agent wants you to.