Mets GM conferenced on innings plan for right-hander with Andrews, Boras
By Joe Trezza
NEW YORK -- A week before Matt Harvey was removed from the mound after just five innings on Sunday, chaos creeping closer with his every dugout-directioned step, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson conferenced with members of Harvey's camp to outline a plan for the right-hander going forward. Alderson, agent Scott Boras and Dr. James Andrews all spoke, and together, they decided the best thing for Harvey was what has become the current plan: a series of abbreviated starts to finish the season and keep Harvey's innings within what Alderson calls a "reasonable" range.
Not involved in the conversation, Alderson says, was Harvey himself. And not demanded by Andrews, Alderson says, was the hard limit of 180 innings that Boras has publicly attached to the surgeon's name. In revealing these details Monday, Alderson essentially absolved Harvey and Andrews of any perceived wrongdoings, in many ways echoing manager Terry Collins' inspired defense of his player Sunday.
"At this point, it's not about Matt not wanting to do this or that -- it's a question of what we think is appropriate," Alderson said. "I think it's unfair to put all of this -- or any of this -- on Matt at this point."
Alderson also alluded to Boras' influence without referencing him by name, and he was also clear to call his conversation with Boras and Andrews "not something that was negotiated or that was a compromise."
"The purpose of the call to be a little better informed and give Dr. Andrews a chance to express his point of view," Alderson said. "I think the way Matt was handled last night and the way he will be handled going forward will be informed by that conversation."
Harvey's workload sits at 176 2/3 innings in his first season back from Tommy John surgery, less than two full innings shy of his previous career high. Alderson said Harvey is still scheduled to make his next start, tentatively planned for Saturday in Cincinnati, and that he expects Harvey to be managed similarly to the way he was Sunday, when a 1-0 lead turned into a 11-2 loss after his departure. Harvey's right elbow will be more than 23 months removed from Tommy John surgery when he takes the mound next.
"Taking Matt out after five innings [Sunday] night -- was I disturbed?," Collins said Monday. "Damn right I was disturbed. But I did it. For the good of Matt, hopefully, and for the good of the organization. So that there's not an injury, he is OK and he will come back. If it keeps us from winning the pennant, I'm not going to be very happy about it. But it is what it is and you have to adapt to it. "
Barring calamity, the Mets will also be closer then to their first playoff appearance in nine seasons. Management remains hopeful its placated handling of Harvey could loosen his restrictions for postseason play, and Harvey declared "the situation would be different" when posed with that suggestion Sunday.
But Alderson was telling Monday even when addressing the status of another member of the Mets' rotation. When asked what date Jacob deGrom would be pushed back to, Alderson said he needed to check the schedule. He was quickly reminded the announced probables through Wednesday: Jon Niese, Logan Verrett and Bartolo Colon.
"But things can change," Alderson chuckled.
Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.