Stop waiting on Matt Harvey

Matt HarveyAugust 26th 2013 was a day that is unfortunately making every Met fan look forward to 2015. Now just hold on. Why are we putting off plans that were made when Zack Wheeler was dominating – that 2014 was the year to dominate? Did the Cardinals give up when Adam Wainwright went down, or years before when Chris Carpenter went down? No. John Smoltz missed all of 2000 and yet the Braves made it to the NLCS. AJ Burnett went down and the Marlins won it all. Granted, these were teams that were already good and had players to replace them. So do the Mets. There are still ways that we can contend in 2014.

Before R.A. Dickey was traded or Santana went down, Harvey was projected to be the 4th starter partially because he was considered a risk having been called up that early. Wheeler was called up on Super Tuesday and that was a risk because some didn’t think he was ready. I believe the Mets need to take more risks with their pitchers. I know what the average reader is thinking, “Harvey was a risk and now he needs Tommy John Surgery.” Well, it’s called a risk for a reason. The Mets have a bunch of starters that can be called upon to make a difference in 2014: Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, Cory Mazzoni, Darin Gorski, and Jacob deGrom. Montero and Syndegaard need to be called up if the Mets struggle.

Whether fans like it or not, Sandy Alderson has built a good offense internally. The Mets will not ever be the Reds, Rangers or Red Sox; we simply don’t have a ballpark for the homeruns. The core players on this team are doubles players that hustle: David Wright, Daniel Murphy, Travis d’Arnaud, and Juan Lagares. These players are shoe-ins for next season whether because of potential or contract. The positions of need coming into the 2014 are the other four positions: Shortstop, First Base, Right Field, and Left Field. If Alderson lets Harvey’s injury affect him too much, then Ruben Tejada, Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Eric Young Jr. and Matt Den Dekker will be playing every day. That is unacceptable. At first base, let Flores give it shot because that will enable him to limit the ankle. In the outfield, try signing Jacoby Ellsbury or Shin-Soo Choo and attempt a call-up from Dustin Lawley. There are many, many, many options at short, but Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes would be the best fits.

The Mets won games before Harvey, while he was here, and we can win games during his absence. If Alderson decides 2014 is a season to build off of, I will puke because we have been hearing the next season is the year since 2004. I really do appreciate what Alderson has done with an unfixable mess, but he needs to realize that potential is great, but definite is better.

14 comments for “Stop waiting on Matt Harvey

  1. David Groveman
    October 29, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Hey there. I am all for the theme, if not the substance. The Mets don’t need to wait for Harvey to get better to make a go of it. I do take issues with some of your planning.

    Flores to first: He’s never played first and has only recently converted to second/third. Moving him again would not be my first choice. He also has the potential to hit as a solid third or second baseman but he lacks the raw power you expect from first base. The Mets will not have Flores start the year as their primary first baseman.

    Bring up Lawley: I like the guy but he did just play almost the full year at the A+ level. Might be putting the wagon before the horse.

    Sign Choo or Ellsbury: Sure. No problem. The issue is that both players are no longer in Aldersons sweet spot for salary expectations. Look at Nelson Cruz or Andre Ethier as more likely.

    Trade for Reyes or Cabrera: both fine ideas in theory but neither is easily done.

    • Herb
      October 29, 2013 at 11:15 pm

      Well said, David. We need to accept the fact that, despite recent statements by owners and the FO that we are not financially costrained, we actually are financially constrained to an extent. We are not going to spend more than $40 million or so in 2014 salaries. Our priorities should be (1) an impact corner outfielder, (2) a solid shortstop, (3) an innings eating mid-rotation pitcher, (4) a complimentary outfielder who can hit, (5) another starter or two on minor league contracts for depth, and (6) LaTroy Hawkins. All that for $40 million.

      With that in mind, I’m going with what I have at 1B, and I don’t mean Wilmer Flores. He is not a 1B. He actually was impressive at 3B when we needed him there, and should be a decent trade chip for a non-contender in need of help at 3B or 2B. Ellsbury (who I would dearly love to sign) and Choo are impact outfielders, but signing either would eat up too much of the available funds. Nelson Cruz is the only FA OF who might be acceptable for that role, but I see a trade for Kemp, Braun, Bautista or CarGo more realistic of filling that need. Dustin Lawley is not the answer to the other corner OF spot, at least not in 2014. Puello might be ready around mid season, but we can’t wait until mid season if we are to compete, and the word “might” makes it problematic. Marlon Byrd is the most practical solution there. Beltran would be great, but he too, will be out of range financially.

      Lastly, thinking of a Reyes return makes my mouth water, but I fear it is mental masturbation. Sure he would be a great fit, and a tremendous fan attraction. But, it is almost impossible for me to conceive of Sandy taking on that bloated contract. Acdrubal Cabrera, on the other hand, is very attainable. With Lindor waiting in the wings, Cleveland would probably be very receptive to a call from Sandy. There are several other possible trades for a SS, and both Peralta and Drew provide more than satisfactory fall back positions.

      • Metsense
        October 30, 2013 at 8:52 am

        Herb a well thought out plan and one I would be satisfied with as a fan.

  2. Name
    October 29, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    September 30th is another day that makes Met fans look toward 2016.
    That was the day Terry Collins was given a 2 year contract.

    • SL
      November 3, 2013 at 6:31 pm

      Can you hear me clapping at this one?
      A GM’s job is very simple. Improve each position, even marginally every year and aks yourself can this player/manager be part of a WS winner?
      The answer with Collins is self evident. And if Alderson actually believe Collins can win a WS than I suggest he get him another 1 batter lefty bullpen specialist he seems to burn out 4 times a year.

  3. Don Jon
    October 29, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Yeah, Choo or Ellsbury will just fall into our laps with affordable, ideal contracts, and the Blue Jays will just giftwrap Reyes over to us without demanding any of the young pitchers or position players you mentioned earlier in the article. Oh, and I love how you admitted that teams like the Cardinals and Marlins were able to withstand the losses of pitchers because they had way more talent throughout their rosters than the 2014 Mets do, yet *totally dismissed* that very concept one sentence letter.

    You should be ashamed of yourself for writing this oversimplified utter tripe.

    • October 29, 2013 at 10:52 pm

      No need to get personal, buddy. I don’t think they’ll spend for Choo or Ellsbury, nor do I think we’re getting Reyes without taking all of his contract, but we’re still all Mets fans at the end of the day.

    • Metsense
      October 30, 2013 at 9:08 am

      I agree with David, I too am all for the theme if not the substance. I also don’t think the articles’ substance was consistant but there is no need to get personal. You can disagree or ignore the article.
      I don’t think at this juncture that Lagares or d’Arnaud are core players and Murphy is a solid piece. Duda has NL Avg firstbase numbers so there is no reason for him to lose his job to an unproven rookie who doesn’t project to have better numbers.
      The Mets have to move on without Harvey and plan to move on without Harvey. One of the best pitchers in the league can’t be replaced but there are enough young arms in the system to soften the blow.

  4. October 29, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Where to begin Julian? The Mets will simply continue to rebuilding their farm system and the starters will simply move up one notch. All those young pitchers you mentioned the Mets can use will have inning restrictions in 2014. The Mets have a terrible internal offense. So I don’t know what you are talking about. I don’t see the Mets moving Flores to a another position yet again. Doesn’t make sense. As much as I am a Reyes fan, the Blue hays will NEVER trade him back to New York as it would cost their GM his job, On a side note Reyes had 420 plate appearances in 2013 and ZERO triples! Lagares was signed by Omar Minaya. So let’s give credit where credit is due. The Mets are a work in progress and should look to continue to improve their anemic offense and inept bullpen.

  5. October 29, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    Why would the Blue Jays “give” us back Jose Reyes? Even if it includes his entire contract? His injuries are starting to catch up to him and his production(or lack of) are starting to go down. Just a suggestion here to the author. Maybe you can try to consolidate your theme and point. Can’t cover everything and be on both sides of the discussion at the same time. While Don Jon may have been a bit harsh he’s correct in pointing out the flaws in the author’s contradictions. Yes we all are looking for the same thing. We all want the Mets to be a winning team. Yes? A team that plays hard that doesn’t give up and can preferably win at home.

  6. October 29, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    I think the Mets will look to package Murphy for a corner outfielder and move Flores to second base, They Mets are loaded with utility outfielders. Young can fill that roll(if the Mets don’t sign Choo or Ellsbury) and can spell Flores on occasion at second base as well.

  7. October 30, 2013 at 6:48 am

    Dear Young Mr. Harvey,

    Stay off Page Six.

    Yours,

    Mets fans

  8. November 4, 2013 at 2:41 am

    unfortunately I don’t think this was Sandy’s decision to make. Does a manager make a difference? Only if the team he has is ready to win. Collins is still a caretaker(and he works for peanuts). Oh! Almost forgot. A manager does make a difference. Go ask the Red Sox’s who they prefer?

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