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After yet Another Injury, Harvey’s Days as an Ace May Be Numbered

Harvey

As tough as it’s been to be a Phillies fan these past several seasons, lately it has to be almost equally frustrating to follow the Mets. Thought this season couldn’t get worse for the Flushing Faithful?

Think again.

The Mets have already dealt with absences from Noah Syndergaard, Yoenis Cespedes, Lucas DudaSteven Matz, and Travis d’Arnaud. The team received even more bad news Thursday when it was announced that both Matt Harvey (shoulder) and Neil Walker (hamstring) will be out at least several weeks as a result of injuries suffered during Wednesday’s game.

Doubling down on the bad news, the team also announced Syndergaard will not throw for at least another month, as he continues to work his way back from a strained lat.

Syndergaard told reporters he wasn’t close to throwing earlier this week, so this just confirms what was already feared. He was initially given a timetable that restricted him from throwing for at least six weeks, a deadline that was coming up today. Now, it looks like he’ll cruise right past that. It could be September before Syndergaard takes the hill in the majors again.

With the team four games under .500 and 8.5 games out of a playoff spot, this only makes a steep climb even tougher.

Harvey hasn’t been effective in his return from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome surgery, but he was still averaging between 94 and 95 mph with his fastball this season, in line with where he spent his 2016 season. Wednesday, however, his average velocity dipped to 91.8 mph, and he didn’t even reach 92 on the gun after the second inning.

The Mets right-hander was diagnosed Thursday with what a team news release (via the New York Times) described as “a stress injury to the scapula bone in the right shoulder.”

After an MRI exam and CT scan that led to the diagnosis, Harvey received a platelet-rich plasma injection at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. He will rehab until he is pain-free and, at that point, he’ll begin a throwing program.

Something clearly hasn’t been right with the staff ace, he holds a 5.25 ERA in his first 70 1/3 innings of work. Dating back to last season is just as ugly with a 5.02 ERA in 163 innings.

Harvey’s days as an ace look numbered. After watching him for nearly a year and seeing his body break down again, it seems fair to wonder if he’ll ever regain his form. Injuries appear to have sabotaged the career one of baseball’s most promising young pitchers. It just doesn’t look like it’s coming back.

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