Scott Boras, Mets at odds over Matt Harvey’s innings limit
Scott Boras and the New York Mets are at odds over an innings limit for star pitcher Matt Harvey.
Harvey is dominating in his first season back from Tommy John surgery, and the Mets are reaping benefits and appear poised to win the NL East for the first time since 2006. With a playoff appearance on the horizon, the Mets want to have one of their best pitchers available. Boras is trying to stand in the way.
Boras, who is Harvey’s agent, says doctors advised a hard limit of 180 innings for the pitcher this season. Mets GM Sandy Alderson believes the innings cap was a “soft” one and that all parties came up with a plan before the season for handling Harvey from which they have not deviated. Boras is getting awfully serious about the matter and called his good friend Jon Heyman at CBS Sports to complain.
“This is not a club’s decision. This is a doctor’s decision,” Boras said via Heyman. “Any club that chooses to defy a surgeon’s wishes is putting the player in peril.”
Harvey is at 166.1 innings this season, which means he would only have room for two more 7-inning starts this season. That limit would also mean he wouldn’t be available for the playoffs (assuming you don’t want him to have a long layoff between starts, which they don’t).
“Expert opinion by medical practitioners is not a soft number. There are no soft numbers. These are medical practitioners providing opinions about when a pitcher is at risk, and when a pitcher isn’t at risk. Matt Harvey would love to pitch. But the surgeon who saved his career and other surgeons consulted have said that for maximum safety he is not to exceed 180 innings for the year.”
The Mets already are trying to play it safely with Harvey. They’ve limited his pitch counts and gave him nearly two weeks between starts in mid/late August. But you know they’re going to try stretching him through the rest of the regular season so they can use him in the postseason.
Much like he did with the Nats and client Stephen Strasburg in 2012, Boras is trying to step in and tell the Mets what to do. I think the Mets are handling Harvey pretty judiciously and it’s up to them if they want to go beyond what the doctors advise.
There is no prescribed formula for how to avoid injuries for pitchers. These are recommendations. Sorry, Scott, but I’m with the Mets on this one.