The New York Mets only had Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler to brag about in 2013. But for the Mets, even their few treasures inevitably have to be tarnished. If the worst happens in the next few weeks, Wheeler will be the only new Mets pitching phenom left for 2014, as the possibility of Tommy John surgery looms for Harvey after Aug. 26.
Harvey was ruled to have a partially torn UCL in his right elbow, which will likely leave him out for the rest of the year. Yet with the 2013 season long lost to the Mets, the greater fear is Harvey’s 2014 campaign, which could be lost if he needs Tommy John surgery. It is still optional at the moment, with his ultimate diagnosis set to come down in 2-3 weeks, according to Mets general manager Sandy Alderson.
Harvey’s final start was not one of his best, as he gave up 13 hits to the Detroit Tigers on Aug. 24 and lost to fellow All-Star Game starter Max Scherzer. Although Scherzer has gone to 19-1 since starting the All-Star Game at Citi Field, Harvey’s work after starting that game in his home stadium had been more iffy, and now there is a possible reason why.
The Mets now have to be even more relieved that Wheeler has developed so quickly. If Harvey doesn’t come back until 2015, Wheeler will be New York's insurance policy against total irrelevance, assuming he stays healthy himself. Bringing up two aces of the future was the one thing the Mets did right this season, yet Wheeler might have to be the sole No. 1 next year.
On the day Harvey’s condition was revealed, Wheeler pitched a duel against the Philadelphia Phillies’ Cliff Lee hours later. While Wheeler shut the Phillies down for 6 2-3 innings, the Mets didn’t give him enough support and handed him a 2-1 loss, dropping him to 6-3 through his first 13 major league starts.
When it comes to the Mets, there always seems to be some kind of bad luck to counteract the good like that. Harvey has become a prime example of that trend, with New York now hoping he doesn’t become a catastrophic one.