Here’s Hoping Matt Harvey Is Intelligent About His Recovery

13 Harvey nosebleedIn his first year-plus as a Major League pitcher, Matt Harvey has shown us he possesses an impressive set of tools. A biting fastball, a devastating curve and a fine change-up are the main pieces of his game arsenal. A solid pitcher’s build is the principal physical attribute. A bulldog, take-no-prisoners attitude fires his professional heart. By all accounts, he “has an idea out there,” to put it in long-ago dugout parlance. Other than the elephant in the room – his Tommy John surgically repaired right elbow – Harvey might the prototype of the perfect pitcher.

It’s that elephant, and the last of Harvey’s impressive tools that concern your intrepid columnist. We know Harvey burns to compete. After all, this is a guy who threw a one-hitter while dealing with a spontaneous nose-bleed. The thought of sitting on the shelf for twelve months, unable to do anything but general strength and mobility exercises, must be driving him crazy. And of course, he does his pitching for our New York Mets, who – let’s face it – don’t have the best reputation when it comes to dealing with player injuries. So when Harvey let the word out a little bit ago that he wanted to pitch in September…of this year…you could hear the wave of apprehension ripple through Met-land. “Please heal first!” Then, last week, Harvey told us he want to start throwing on February 22. He reiterated this stance on Mike Francesa’s radio show on Friday. “The doctors said ‘four months’ and the 22nd is four months.” He sounded a little like a teenager, holding his parents to their exact words: “You said I could borrow the car, if…”

Please heal first!

To be fair, Harvey was quick to add that he would be heeding the advice of his medical team, but you could tell he’s getting a little antsy. While we can’t really blame him, we have to hope he trusts his better judgment. It would be all too easy for him to push it, to try and overdo, to give in to that competitive urge. It would also be all too easy for him to set himself back considerably in doing so. Baseball history is littered with pitchers who tried to come back from injury too soon, from Dizzy Dean to Herb Score to Steve Busby to Johan Santana. You would hope Matt Harvey is a student of MLB history and would go to school on each of these guys. He’s certainly intelligent enough that he knows how high the stakes are and what the consequences would be if he were to take the risk.

Please heal first!

Follow me on Twitter @CharlieHangley

6 comments for “Here’s Hoping Matt Harvey Is Intelligent About His Recovery

  1. Chris F
    February 11, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Dont worry Charlie, while he was slow to accept the reality of the surgery, he followed directions of doctors and those with $. There is no way he will pitch ahead of when he can based on medical advice and the FO. I like the fire in his belly and never want it to go out. We have others that will put a leash on the crazy parts of that! I want him to say he wants to pitch full steam in St Lucie next week because he feels so good!!!!

  2. Jim OMalley
    February 11, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    I agree with Chris. I can’t see any chance of him or the team taking any chances. Everything will be done with doctor approval.

  3. Metsense
    February 11, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Harvey has the same fire in the gut as Wright. He will be under the same great care of the team that Wright had when he played with a broken back. The same team that sent Wright out there on a day game after a night game when he tweaked his hamstring the night before that. The same team that allowed Santana to have an unauthorized bullpen session that turned into his last bullpen session. Maybe fans should be concerned that Harvey is under the same great care.

    • Chris F
      February 12, 2014 at 10:42 am

      Wow, that was a man-sized dose of painful reality Metsense. I request permission to withdraw and revise my previous comment. Good call Charlie…we do need #33 to be the adult in the room!

    • February 14, 2014 at 12:36 am

      So much for following doctors orders. Maybe before he starts to throw again he can get a second opinion from Dr Andrews might not be such a bad idea.

  4. Patrick Albanesius
    February 12, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Metsense is right, the Met track record is atrocious. Harvey did see the light when it came to surgery, and I think he’ll see the light when it comes to the healing process, if only because he doesn’t want to cut short his career.

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