Now that the 2013 season has concluded for the New York Mets, we have taken a look at overall breakdowns for the offense, starting pitching, and bullpen this past season. We will now take a look at every player on the roster from A (David Aardsma) to Y (Eric Young Jr) as our Mets 101 Player Review Series returns for its third year. In each review we will take a look at the player's 2013 performance and what role, if any, they can expect to have with the Mets in 2014. We continue our series today with a look at starting pitcher Matt Harvey.
2013 Stats: 26 Starts, 178.1 Innings Pitched, 9-5, 2.27 ERA, 191 Strikeouts, 0.93 WHIP, 1 Shutout
2013 Story: Matt Harvey entered spring training with hopes of building on a strong rookie campaign. Manager Terry Collins bought into the Harvey hype, declaring that the young right hander could easily win 17 games with his stuff. Injuries to veteran starters Johan Santana and Shaun Marcum in spring training bumped Harvey from number four to number two in the rotation. Harvey quickly proved he was up to the challenge and exceeded it, seizing the role of staff ace within a month. Harvey's first start was lights out, as he went seven shutout innings against the San Diego Padres and struck out 10 to pick up his first win of 2013. Harvey won his next three starts as well, including winning a duel with Washington ace Stephen Strasburg and flirting with a no hitter against the Twins.
Harvey was dominant in the first half, flirting with several more no-no's and piling up the strikeouts. Wins, however, were hard to come by due to a lack of run support from his offensive teammates. In spite of having only a 7-2 record at the All Star Break, Harvey was named to start the All Star Game at Citi Field by National League Manager Bruce Bochy. The All Star Game was the pinnacle of Harvey mania, as the Mets' ace threw two shutout innings in the Midsummmer Classic. Harvey even got to show off his personality by doing a photo shoot for ESPN the Magazine's Body Issue and doing a man on the street segment for Jimmy Fallon.
Harvey continued to throw well in the second half, but the quality of his starts started to dip slightly. Many attributed it to fatigue, so Harvey kept taking the ball every fifth day. Harvey had a showdown with All Star Game starter Max Scherzer at Citi Field on August 24th, which he would lose after allowing two runs on a career high 13 hits in 13.2 innings. After the game, Harvey told reporters that he was tiring and the Mets sent him for an MRI on Monday the 26th. The MRI results were Harvey's worst nightmare. The test revealed that Harvey had suffered a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament, an injury that ended his season and required Tommy John surgery, knocking him out for 2014 as well. Harvey's rapid rise to stardom had come to a crashing halt even in spite of the Mets' best efforts to keep him healthy.
2013 Grade: A+. Harvey exceeded every Mets' fans wildest dreams by becoming the most electrifying starting pitcher the franchise has seen since Dwight Gooden. Harvey was by far the team's best player every time he took the mound, and his won-loss record doesn't reflect how dominant he was.
Contract Status: Pre-Arbitration Eligible:
Odds of Returning: 100%
2014 Role: None
Harvey will likely miss the entire 2014 season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. Even though Harvey professed that he was ahead of schedule only six days after surgery, the Mets do not expect anything out of him in the 2014 season. Any innings Harvey pitches, even in the minor leagues, will be gravy at this point. Unless Harvey is the baseball equivalent of Adrian Peterson, the next time we will see him on a major league mound is Opening Day in 2015.
Come back tomorrow as Mets 101's Player Review Series looks at relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins!
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