After determining that the arterial clot in his shoulder was a more severe threat to his long-term health than originally hoped, Mets starting pitcher Dillon Gee opted to have a second operation to alleviate the problem. This surgery, which is more extensive than the one to immediately fix the original clot, will prevent Gee from even throwing a baseball for 6-8 weeks, making it unlikely that he will be able to pitch again in the 2012 season.
The decision to protect his long-term health over his current season obviously can’t be questioned, but it does put the Mets in an awkward situation regarding their top pitching prospect, 2010 first rounder Matt Harvey. The 23-year-old UNC grad has been pitching very well in Triple-A Buffalo this season, sporting a 3.39 ERA and 102 strikeouts in 98.1 innings and getting named to the International League All-Star team. However, despite his pedigree, the Mets are reluctant to bring Harvey up at this time, with the prevalent opinion reportedly being that he could hold his own but is not fully ready to realize his potential.
As stated by the NJ Star-Ledger‘s Andy McCullough (via MetsBlog), “They believe he can survive. However, Harvey wasn’t supposed to be called up just to survive. He’s supposed to be a cornerstone of the rotation. Hence, the dilemma.”
As of right now, the Mets plan to start veteran reliever Miguel Batista in Gee’s place, but at 41 years old with a 1.56 WHIP in four starts this season, he can’t be seen as a long-term solution. So while the Mets have undoubtedly prepared to promote Harvey in the next month if they feel he’s ready, they have to be looking at other options as well. The only other two pitchers who have shown aptitude at Triple-A this season, Jeremy Hefner and Chris Schwinden, have both been shelled during their time in the majors, so they’re just as unlikely as Batista to provide a stable presence for the rest of the season.
That leaves the trade market. The Mets have made a concerted effort to commit to their youth movement, so they’ll face another tough decision with regard to weighing long-term goals against the belief that they can make a postseason run this year. There will be plenty of arms to be had at the trade deadline at the end of July, but surely the likes of Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, or Zack Greinke (forget Cole Hamels — the Phillies would never deal him to NY) would cost the Mets one of their prized arms like Harvey or Zack Wheeler.
Instead, any sort of deadline deal for a starter will likely be for someone more appropriate to take Gee’s spot at the back end of the rotation. Among those who could be dangled by teams well out of the race are Brandon McCarthy of the A’s, Anibal Sanchez of the Marlins, or Kevin Millwood of Seattle. Any one of those three could probably be had for a pair of second-tier prospects.
In the meantime, the Matt Harvey watch has officially begun in Flushing.
Fan Hub Action
Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
Charlie Lobosco May 1st
This is a very compelling story because Mr. Collins is a very passionate, tough, intelligent, athelete taking on some additional responsibliity to help others as…
Scott Cohen May 1st
Charlie.. very well said.. he does have guts
Scott Cohen May 1st
but it shouldn’t require guts. .like you said it’s nobody’s business but his own
Hisham Zameeth April 30th
best player ever…..
Kareem Musa Mayowa April 29th
We don’t need to be hopeless about the situation bryant his. Because even david villa situation also up to the level of his own to…
Maritess Lim April 28th
I still believe in KOBE’s power…… He is still the best…… He will make it possible no matter what……
mimi_aragon84 April 28th
I feel no pity for him. First of all, it is EAGLE, COLORADO, not Eagleton, secondly he enjoyed success and adulation from fans from 2003…
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