Earlier today, it was revealed that the Mets and Scott Boras are clashing over what to do with Matt Harvey. Some have reported that he has a soft innings limit around 180, while others have described it as a hard cap, which would mean he has no more than two starts remaining before being shut down. The current plan is to have Harvey skip another start, but with playoff baseball a real possibility for the Mets, one missed outing isn't going to do much for the right-hander.
While this initially might seem like Boras going out of his way to protect one of his star clients, there could be something to his argument.
"This is not a club's decision. This is a doctor's decision. Any club that choses to defy a surgeon's wishes is putting the player in peril...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."
Without one of the Mets doctors, or an independent third party coming out and publicly stating that Harvey is danger of hurting his surgically repaired elbow, it's difficult to know what the right course of action is. However, the Mets do have a history of "downplay[ing] the severity of several injuries", via Jared Diamond.
There are a striking number of what seem to be misdiagnoses in the Mets recent history, and Boras has a right to be weary of how his client is going to be treated. While his comments undoubtedly seem to be aimed at the Mets, and that he vehemently disagrees with their decision to not shut him down, there's potentially a veiled reason behind this; which is to make Harvey look like the good guy.
Boras speaking out about shutting Harvey down allows Harvey to shrug his shoulders and not be the bad guy.— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) September 4, 2015
The situation doesn't appear to be settling down anytime soon, as Terry Collins has reportedly been "issued a gag order on the Harvey controversy" but he did manage to take a shot at Boras anyway.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Told that Conforto is a Boras guy, Collins quipped: "I wonder how many at-bats he is going to be allowed."</p>— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) <a href="https://twitter.com/NYPost_Mets/status/639893564193927173">September 4, 2015</a></blockquote>
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The Nationals had a similar situation in 2012, and chose to shut down Stephen Strasburg. It changed the entire dynamic of the NLDS, and Washington eventually lost in five games without their flame-throwing righty.
While the Mets also have Noah Syndergaard, he's seemingly going to be removed from the rotation and moved to the bullpen for the playoffs; which would leave Jacob deGrom as the only proven weapon heading into October. The Mets hopes of a deep run in the playoffs could hinge on what they choose to do with Harvey, and it's undoubtedly something to watch as the season winds down.