In the most anticipated Mets debut since Doc Gooden in 1984, Matt Harvey did not disappoint in his start vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Mets young prospect took the mound in a familiar stadium, Chase Field, where he appeared in the 2011 MLB All Stars Futures Game. He showed no nerves whatsoever and pitched a quality game in a hitters haven.
Harvey’s final line is impressive as he pitched 5 1/3 innings with zero runs on three hits and 11 strikeouts, while picking up his first career major league win. Despite his control issues in AAA, the right-hander only walked two and had a good feel for the strike zone.
The 24-year old came out firing darts, reaching 98 MPH on several occasions. He also had good control of his fastball and mixed in his off speed pitches well, something that was not the case in his time with Buffalo. To add to his impressive debut, Harvey also picked up his first two hits as a pro with a double in his first plate appearance and a single in his second at-bat.
Matt Harvey finally brought a bit of excitement to this team after New York’s six game winning streak put a damper on things. The Mets hope he can spark the club and provide the jolt they need to get back in the playoff spot. If he can continue his success, the rotation will be impressive with R.A. Dickey, Jon Niese, and a rested Johan Santana coming back from the DL. Don’t give up yet, Mets fans! There is still hope.
41-year old Miguel Batista claimed that the Mets were “the best team in baseball” last week. Now he will no longer be part of the club as he has been designated for assignment after yesterday’s start in which he surrendered 4 ER in 3.2 innings. The Mets clearly saw enough out of Batista the last few times around to earn him a demotion. This season he has a 4.82 ERA while starting and relieving games in the absence of Mike Pelfrey and Dillon Gee.
New York has announced corresponding moves with RHP Elvin Ramirez being promoted back to the majors after struggling with his control in his first stint with the big league team. He will go to the bullpen while the Mets will need a starter for Thursday’s game in Arizona.
Jeremy Hefner, who was called up to replace Johan Santana, will start on Wednesday and could also work out of the bullpen if they need him to. There is speculation about whether Matt Harvey will be called upon to pitch in Arizona, but after his last start for Buffalo, the Mets are having second thoughts about handing him the ball. He was roughed up in an outing in which he allowed 6 runs on seven hits. Harvey threw 96 pitches but only 61 for strikes as his heavy pitch count has ruled him out of starting Wednesday for the Mets.
With Harvey being lit up in AAA, Sandy Alderson and the Mets front office is a little frustrated with the recent slew of injuries that has devastated the starting rotation. Surprisingly, the team is considering calling up Collin McHugh instead of Harvey for Thursday’s start. McHugh, who is not as highly touted a prospect, is similar to Dillon Gee in that he does not throw hard but has good breaking pitches. He is 1-3 in seven starts for AAA Buffalo, with an ERA of 4.54 after being called up from AA Binghamton.
The Mets rotation is getting really thin all of a sudden with three out of the five opening day starters on the DL. New York is running low on options and needs to make a move to help the struggling rotation and horrendous bullpen. Whether it is Harvey or McHugh, it is hard to expect either to do much in their first major league experience. The season is fading fast and this might be the last chance for the Mets to stay relevant this season. Pitching needs to be better than it has been so far in the second half of the season and it needs to give the team a chance to win on a regular basis.
If you’re a Met fan today, be happy. Yes I know the Mets just got swept by the Atlanta Braves. And yes I’m aware the Mets are three games over .500 and are going through a rough part of their schedule. But put that all aside for now because the Mets should be excited.
Highly lauded Met prospect Matt Harvey pitched last night for AAA Buffalo Bison. Harvey was under the microscope this particular start. Since the injury of Dillon Gee, the Mets are looking for someone to take his spot and ultimately be the number five starter for the Mets. Some of the candidates include Jeremy Heffner, Miguel Batista, and Matt Harvey.
We’ve all seen what Heffner and Batista could do in the starting rotation. Both of them had a couple of moments where they looked like a great pitcher to have in your starting rotation. Other times you just want to turn away from what you are seeing from them.
Met fans have been hearing Harvey’s name for a while now. The young right-hander out of North Carolina was picked seventh. He was known to have electric stuff, but at times could be erratic. Well Harvey has been working on his command and seems to have much more control than what he had once he was drafted.
Matt Harvey has had a spectacular season. This season Harvey has a 2.53 ERA in the minors. He has 106 strikeouts in 105 innings. He’s the type of pitcher that could get out of trouble with his command of his pitches. On Monday, Harvey gave up two runs over six innings pitched. Not to mention he brought a no-hitter into the sixth inning.
Look, the best option to replace Gee with is easily Harvey. I have a lot of faith in the type of pitcher he is. I wouldn’t want Batista or Heffner to start for my team. The organization has been talking about Harvey for the longest time now. Isn’t it about time they gave him a chance to pitch in the majors?
I get that the Mets don’t want to rush Harvey. And neither would I. But he’s ready. Look at the numbers he has put up in the minors. They’ve been impressive. The guy strikes out a bunch of hitters and he’s proven to have much better command of his pitches. Wally Backman agrees that Harvey is ready for the majors. The Mets are flirting with going a couple of games under .500 so Harvey might be the spark the Mets need. Now is the time of season when teams go from contenders to pretenders so the Mets need to stay in the thick of things to make it to October this year.
The inevitable bad news of Dillon Gee and his surgery for his blood clot in his right shoulder was a huge blow to the Amazin’s. Ultimately, the Mets fifth starter will most likely miss the remainder of the of the season and look toward a 2013 comeback. Yes Gee was a great fifth starter for the Mets. He was all you could ask for from an end of the rotation starter. Basically the role of a fifth starter is to eat up innings plus keep his team in the game. Dillon Gee did just that. Gee will be missed but there is hope. It’s not Miguel Batista nor is it Jeremy Hefner. In fact he’s not in the majors at the moment. Matt Harvey, who is in AAA Buffalo at the moment, should be the guy that gets the chance to start for the Mets.
Most reporters following the Mets will say it’s not a matter of if Harvey will be in the majors this year; it’s a matter of when. Do the Mets want to leave him in AAA where he might get a couple of more starts for mechanical tuning or do they want to bring him up to give the Mets some spunk and productivity. Miguel Batista will get the ball against the Braves on Friday but what if he has a poor start. We all saw what he can do this year. At times he looks like a great starter who could be an inning eater as well as keep his team in the game. We saw flashes of that when Batista went 7 shutout innings against the Brewers. We also so the bad side of Miguel Batista. In 5+ innings against Philly he allowed 4 runs. He also walked a boat load of people allowing many base runners, That’s not keeping your team in the game.
The good thing about the Mets is that the team doesn’t allow injuries to effect them on the field. Terry Collins has a great philosophy with managing. He doesn’t let injuries get in the way of how his team plays. Even with injuries to Carlos Beltran and Joe Reyes last year Collins still managed to walk the .500 line. Gee was an important piece to the starting rotation but Terry won’t let this injury get in the way of winning. Instead of going to Sandy Alderson and begging him to shop for a new starter, Collins is the type of manager to work with what he has.
Here’s a surprising fact. It’s Matt Harvey’s second year in the minors and he has already made the AAA All-Star Game. Pretty impressive, huh? With Harvey you know what you’ll get. Last season in AA Binghamton, Harvey had control issues. This off-season he worked hard on improving his command. And boy did the hard work pay off. In 98 innings pitched this season, Harvey has 102 strikeouts as well as allowing 42 walks. That’s equivalent to 9+ strikeouts/9 innings as well as about 2.5 base on balls/9 innings. This kid is one of the Mets’ top prospects and has showed the Mets organization why he deserves to be in the big leagues. So is he ready? Bring him to Citi Field and he’ll show Met fans he, in fact, is.
Well the last thing you want to do is bring up a young minor leaguer before he’s ready. If he doesn’t find early success, he could become bewildered and in way over his head. Look what happened to Mike Pelfrey. The Mets showed a lot of confidence in him but he didn’t find quick success. This could really demoralize a guy and Pelf had some confidence issues. I think this is a perfect time to bring up Harvey. He’s shown success in both Buffalo and Binghamton. Just like the Cubs and Anthony Rizzo, a young player can really light a fire under a team. For the Mets, I think coming out of the break strong would be the best thing to happen.
Mets fans got a look at the kid scouts have been raving about this season : Zack Wheeler. The 22-year old came on in the 9th inning to record two outs in the MLB All-Stars Future Game. Wheeler showed his impressive stuff, throwing a mid-90s fastball, and showing off his slider and changeup.
He only threw seven pitches altogether but managed to close out a lob-sided win for the US team. Just as Matt Harvey pitched the ninth inning in last years game, Wheeler dominated hitters and displayed his talent over some very impressive hitting prospects.
As for Wheeler’s role in the Mets organization, GM Sandy Alderson indicated that the top prospect will be promoted to AAA soon. While being interviewed on the air of the Mets game on Sunday, Alderson stated that he wants Zack to dominate at the AA level for a couple of more starts before being promoted. Wheeler is currently on the fast track to the majors.
Other top prospect Matt Harvey has also been in the news recently as a potential replacement for Dillon Gee. While Gee will be placed on the 15-day DL, there has been talk of Harvey joining the big league squad in July. Don’t get your hopes up Mets fans. It sounds like the Mets will keep him in AAA until September call-ups are allowed. This is probably best for Harvey and for the Mets.
I’m really excited about these two pitching prospects. It is not very often that teams have two youngsters like these waiting to join the big league team. I still believe Wheeler will urn out to be the better major league pitcher with his hard fastball and wicked breaking pitches. He will be a top of the rotation pitcher for a long time with the Mets. Harvey, on the other hand, will be more of a number two or three starter when he gains experience. He needs to work on his command and practice using his off-speed pitches more. Harvey reminds me a little of Mike Pelfrey with his big frame. Hopefully that is all Harvey has in common with Pelfrey. Hopefully he can be a reliable major league pitcher along with Wheeler. If this happens, the Mets will have a bright future.
Just when the Mets were feeling good about their chances this year, the proverbial run of bad luck for this team has struck again. Just a few days removed from pitching a gem versus the Cubs, Dillon Gee suffered a serious health scare Monday.
Gee had been complaining of numbness in his pitching fingers after his start on Sunday and was taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital where he will remain for the next couple of days. Doctors found and removed blood clot in his right shoulder which will land Dillon on the DL for the time being. The Mets will be extremely cautious with Gee considering how scary of an injury this is.
The right-hander was scheduled to pitch the opener of the Braves series after the break but now the Mets will have to adjust their rotation. It is uncertain how long he will be on the shelf as Matt Harvey is waiting in AAA Buffalo. Sources have said that New York will not call up Harvey until next month at the earliest, as the front office feels he needs more time to develop.
With Gee on the DL, they will need to find a spot starter until either Gee returns, or until Harvey is ready for the majors. Miguel Batista is an option and so is Chris Schwinden. A roster move will be announced shortly by the Mets.
It always happens every season. The Mets seem to have absolutely no luck when it comes to injuries. First, Mike Pelfrey needs Tommy John surgery, then Jason Bay goes on the DL once again, and now Gee is injured. I really hope this doesn’t turn out to be the beginning of a rough second half to the season. As much as I feel Harvey needs more time in the minors, I do not want to see Schwinden or Batista fill in for an extended period of time. Let us see what the kid has! In all seriousness, let’s hope Gee’s illness is not serious and he will be able to return soon to anchor the back-end of the rotation.