Sandy Alderson must stick to the plan

SubwayTomorrow is an important day for the Mets, their fans, and Matt Harvey. It’s the day Harvey visits with Dr. James Andrews and finds out whether or not he will need Tommy John surgery. If he doesn’t, he should be ready to go for the 2014 season. If he does, that means he will likely miss all of 2014. The silver lining in this (if you can call it that) is that Tommy John surgery has become quite common. No surgery is without risk, of course, but TJ surgery has seemingly become a rite of passage for young pitchers these days. Barring some unforeseen catastrophe, Harvey will be back. He may not be back until 2015, but he will be back.

That fact seems lost on all of the doomsayers that have been speculating on how Sandy Alderson’s plans for this off-season will be dramatically altered should the surgery be required. While it’s certainly true that Alderson will need to readjust his off-season strategy if Harvey is out for all of 2014, it would not be a death knell for the Mets’ rebuilding process. The Mets would need someone to replace him for the year or until Rafael Montero, Jacob deGrom, or one of the other pitchers in the upper minors is ready. That means Alderson may have to put some of his off-season budget toward a veteran pitcher rather than allocating it to another area of the roster. That’s a 2014 problem, though.

Harvey is still a Met. He’s still part of the franchise and the future. The Mets pitching depth, the subject of all of the speculation, did not magically evaporate forever with what ultimately amounts to a temporary setback. It may be weaker in 2014, sure, but 2014 was supposed to be the year the Mets were looking to take a step forward. It was not the year they were to become legitimate championship contenders. That timeline remains intact.

Knowing that, Alderson should still absolutely leverage the organization’s pitching depth to strengthen the team’s offense. That was the plan all along, right? You know the deal: you have to give something to get something. Right now the Mets’ system is flush with pitching talent that other teams allegedly covet. That pitching talent can potentially be flipped into the offensive help that this team needs moving forward. Those facts remain whether Harvey suits up for 2014 or not.

If an opportunity presents itself for Alderson to improve the team dramatically in the long run by parting with pitching he must do it. He must stick to his guns and not let fear for 2014 keep him from following through with his plan.

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4 comments for “Sandy Alderson must stick to the plan

  1. Gonzo
    September 15, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Can’t imagine a bigger hit to los Mets than when Harvey went down. I’m hoping Matt doesn’t need the surgery because, as Mr. Rogan said, he won’t be in the 2014 season. It’s a bit more settling that TJ surgery is more “common” but this Met fan wants to see Harvey pitching and continue to develop into the monster he will be.

  2. Metsense
    September 15, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    Rob, I’m not sure leveraging the pitching to obtain offense was the plan all along. Recently Sandy was talking about allocating money toward obtaining a pitcher. Very conflicting plans. Makes me wonder if the only plan is to to keep the Wilpon’s financially afloat.
    Name made an excellent point statistically that the one constant ingredient on playoff teams is top tier starting pitching. I don’t see Sandy trading any starting pitching for offense. Trading pitching this winter would be a mistake.
    I prefer free agent signings. It will only cost them money. Pitching and defense with slightly above average offense should make the Mets an above .500 team. That formula worked during June, July and August.

  3. September 16, 2013 at 12:09 am

    There’s an old baseball adage that you can never have enough pitching. You don’t leverage the future for an outfielder. If the pitching is that good then your foundation is set. I agree with Metsense. Keeping the team afloat for the Wilpons is the goal right now. The lack of options in the outfield will be telling this off season. Very simple if the Mets don’t sign a free agent, then you know that the Wilpons are still unable to open their wallets.

  4. Rob
    September 16, 2013 at 8:40 am

    You are all right about keeping the pitching intact. My take is that the Mets need a power bat to hit behind Wright. If they can do that, then the pitching and D can carry them.

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