In a season that has given the New York Mets endless obstacles, they now face one that has been delayed due to recent success. Manager Terry Collins now faces a sizable decision with his pitching rotation. With the innings quickly climbing for the young pitchers in the rotation, Collins will have to find a way to limit their service.
Matt Harvey will be one of the pitchers the organization will keep a close watch on. With the right-hander scheduled to start on Sunday against the Colorado Rockies, a known pitcher’s nightmare, Collins there is a possibility that he will skip Harvey's start.
The Mets have indicated all season that they wanted to be cautious with Harvey's innings. The Mets have attempted to install a six-man rotation during the early portions of the schedule. After Dillon Gee was unable to return to his usual form and prized prospect Steven Matz was sent to the disabled list with a partially torn lat muscle, the organization was forced to return to the five-man rotation.
Harvey has clashed heads several times with the Mets over the six-man rotations, but Collins and company won't budge. Matt Harvey returned in the beginning of 2015 from Tommy John Surgery, but other than a few rough starts, he hasn't shown any signs of a hangover from his year of absence.
Former Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson had a similar situation in 2012. The Nationals had Stephen Strasburg return from TJS, but Johnson was instructed by his doctor to be cautious with the right-handers innings. Strasburg turned out to be an instrumental part of the Nationals playoff run that year, but was shut down before the playoffs after throwing 159 innings.
Tha Nationals eventually lost in NLDS when they faced the St. Louis Cardinals. Johnson's rotation looked flat in the final month of the season without their.
Collins now has the difficult task of pieces together a plan that will not only limit the innings of Harvey and possibly Syndergaard. With a pennant race forming, the Mets need to find a way to keep Harvey in the rotation.