Despite a rash of pitching injuries within the starting rotation, the New York Mets don't seem to have any plans to allow Matt Harvey—the prized arm of the franchise and legitimate 2013 NL Cy Young contender—to go about his regular business every fifth day for the remainder of the season.
Terry Collins telling reporters that Matt Harvey likely to stick on his original day, Saturday vs. Max Scherzer, per @mikekerwick— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) August 19, 2013
In the name of health concerns, workload limits and innings restrictions, the Mets will rob Matt Harvey of his chance to win the NL Cy Young Award.
While it's hard to argue with the logic or merits of the decision, the nature of the beast opens a can of worms for the Mets.
The circumstances revolve around individual achievement rather than team success, but the mentality is similar to that of the Washington Nationals shutting down Stephen Strasburg last September on their way to October baseball.
In other words, if Harvey is hurt or underachieves next season, expect rhetoric and critique to come back to the Mets organization.
Although Harvey only threw 86 pitches on Sunday in San Diego, the team is still expected to give him a prescribed extra day of rest, leaving him on track to start Saturday against Detroit rather than Friday evening.
Considering the low pitch count in his previous start, the 24-year-old ace would be more than fresh enough to go on four days' rest. However, Roger Rubin of the Daily News reports that Mets manager Terry Collins isn't leaning that way.
Right now there’s a real good shot we’re going to let Matt have that extra day. It’s not finalized, but that might be in our best interest and his best interest and (Zack) Wheeler’s best interest as we’re going into the last month of the season. Now we have to find somebody to pitch Friday.
Of course, before blasting the Mets organization for not allowing a run at back-to-back Mets atop the Cy Young voting (R.A. Dickey won last season), remember that Harvey is a contender but not the favorite as August comes towards a close.
After Sunday's no-decision, Harvey's first full season has been dominant (25 GS, 171.2 IP, 122 H, 31 BB, 187 K, 2.00 FIP, 2.25 ERA, 5.9 WAR).
He's hardly the only outstanding performer in the National League circuit this summer, though.
St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright has dominated since April, posting a 2.39 FIP, 5.3 WAR and the lowest walk rate (1.19 per nine innings) of the contenders.
Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw is the front-runner, regardless of Harvey's shutdown timeline and/or extra rest between starts.
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In 26 starts, the 25-year-old has thrown 190.1 innings, posted a 1.80 ERA and league-leading 5.8 H/9. His K/BB rate (4.55) is nearly identical to the mark posted during his last Cy Young campaign (4.59) in 2011.
Unless New York reverses course and allows Harvey to go full throttle in an effort to catch, surpass and hold off Kershaw atop the voters' rankings, the Mets aren't helping their ace win a Cy Young.
Granted, it was far from a lock with the presence of Wainwright and Kershaw.