All optimism for Mets fans may have to be put on hold as we gear up for the second half of the season.
Dillon Gee was diagnosed with a blood clot in his right shoulder on Monday (per ESPNNewYork.com) The extent and pace of recovery for this injury is still unknown; however, it could range from a few days to costing him the rest of the season.
Gee was a solid No. 5 starter in the back of the rotation for the Mets, as he not only posted solid numbers, but displayed consistency in his second full season in the majors.
With a 6-7 record and a 4.10 ERA, Dillon’s replacement options are probably going to be between Jeremy Hefner and Miguel Batista, neither of whom will perform up to the level of Gee, who is coming off of one of his most impressive starts in his young career against Chicago.
When Mike Pelfrey went down with season-ending shoulder surgery, the Mets were lucky enough to have Chris Young come in and more than adequately fill his spot in the rotation.
However, now that a second starter may be down for an extended period of time, it is inevitable that the Matt Harvey debate will arise.
The highly touted 23-year-old right-hander has been turning heads in Triple-A this season.
Harvey is 7-4 with a 3.39 ERA this season at Buffalo. He has stuck out 102 batters in just 98 innings pitched.
So why even hesitate to bring a kid like this up to the majors?
We are in an era where pitchers are treated extremely prudently. The best example of this would be the Washington National’s young phenom, Stephen Strasburg. Due to his injury last year, Washington plans to shut down Strasburg after 160 innings this year, which will be well before the end of the season. Even though the Nats are in first place and could be on their way to their first postseason since moving to Washington, the organization plans to stand by their limitation.
It is understandable that the Mets organization wants to protect their three young arms of the future—Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Jeury Familia.
If you look at the big picture, there is no real need to rush their pitchers into the majors.
Nevertheless, Harvey is 23 years old and has pitched full seasons in college and threw 135 innings last season in the minors.
With the way New York’s schedule works this year, they will not need to use a fifth starter until July 21st.
Worst-case scenario, Dillon Gee will not be able to pitch again in 2012. If Harvey fills his spot in the rotation, he will not even need to pitch 100 innings to finish the year in Gee’s spot.
There is no way Harvey will be any worse than Miguel Batista or Jeremy Hefner, and that, I’m sure, any Mets fan can say with confidence.
With the Mets in a position to make a playoff run, it is safe to say this team has overachieved astronomically.
With so many question marks coming into the season, the young and inexperienced Mets have put together quite the season so far.
So why not take a shot at Harvey?
Maybe the young right-hander will fit in well with this young and scrappy ball club and turn heads just the way RA Dickey, Jon Niese and Johan Santana have throughout the first half of the year.
Either way, it is going to be an exciting second half of the year for Mets fans.