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Hefner's setback provides a cautionary narrative for Harvey's return

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In the wake of Jeremy Hefner's setback, Sandy Alderson held a press conference prior to tonight's game in which he all but affirmed the idea that Matt Harvey will not pitch in a game this season, minor leagues or otherwise.

Yesterday it was revealed that Jeremy Hefner, who underwent Tommy John surgery last summer, had re-injured his ulnar collateral ligament. Hefner had made six minor league starts for Port St. Lucie this summer while rehabbing from the original injury that ended his season on August 9th of last year.

Claimed off waivers from Pittsburgh in 2011, Hefner made his major league debut for New York in 2012. That year he appeared in 26 games and made 13 starts. He was a regular member of the Mets' rotation in 2013, going 4-8 with a 4.34 ERA in 24 games (23 starts) before being shut down. After the diagnosis of a torn UCL, Hefner ultimately underwent surgery three weeks later.

In the eyes of Sandy Alderson, Hefner's setback provides a cautionary tale for Harvey's own rehabilitation. Thus far, Harvey has thrown off the mound several times and maintains his desire to pitch in 2014. However, given the reality of the situation and the clubs hesitancy to risk a similar narrative for the team's burgeoning superstar, it is apparent that they will be overly cautious going forward.

"My sense is that Matt will at least take this into account, as we will," said Alderson, who has already had an initial conversation with Harvey on the subject. "My sense is he's reassessing."

At this point in the season, it is difficult to argue with the logic here. If the Mets were seriously in contention with a shot for some truly meaningful games in September, one could criticize the Mets front office for being to cautious in this circumstance. However, at this point in time, the Mets' and Matt Harvey's priority should be to arrive in Port St. Lucie next spring healthy and ready to go.

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