In a recent controversial move, the Mets have decided to skip Matt Harvey’s start against the Rockies this Sunday, as well as one of Noah Syndergaard’s upcoming starts. This move was made in order to control the workload of two of the team’s strongest pitchers so as not to wear them out before the end of the season. I think that even though it may prove to be difficult for the team to lose two solid starters in games close together, it is better that Harvey and Syndergaard skip starts now rather than later.
These skipped starts are coming at a good time in the season, as the Mets have built a cushioned lead in the NL East of five games. There is also much time left in the season, so depending on the outcome of the two games that Harvey and Syndergaard skip, the Mets will still have many chances to maintain their lead. The team has about 40 games left to go this season, and six of those will be against their close opponent, the Nationals, who currently hold second place in the NL East. Out of the Mets’ top pitchers, it makes sense to choose Harvey to give an extra game of rest, considering it is still his first year back after Tommy John surgery. The twenty-six year old has had 23 starts this year in 154 innings, and if he continues at the same rate he will reach 208 innings by the end of the season. This number is already pretty high for a pitcher returning from surgery, and if the team wants him to perform at his best in the playoffs, they should not wear him out.
Syndergaard, on the other hand, has thrown more innings this year than most pitchers in the Major League at his young age. The twenty-two year old has thrown 140 innings between the Major League and Triple-A this season, and is on track to throw at least 190 innings by the end of the season. The young pitcher holds a 7-6 record for his starts, and like Harvey, the team wants to ensure they have him at his best as they look toward the postseason.
All in all, while having Harvey and Syndergaard skip their upcoming starts may make fans uneasy about the team maintaining first place, it is a necessary tactic that will help keep these pitchers stronger in the long haul when October comes around.