Mets face Second Half of 2016 without Matt Harvey

As of Friday, the Mets have placed starter Matt Harvey on the disabled list. Where he will remain for the rest of 2016. Harvey will be undergoing surgery to address his thoracic-outlet syndrome, which some people blame as the root of his problems on the mound this year. Seth Lugo has been recalled from triple-A Las Vegas.

The loss of Harvey, on top of dropping three of four games vs. division rival Washington, puts the Mets in a very precarious position heading into the All-Star Break. While it’s true that this isn’t the same Matt Harvey that pitched for New York in years past, the team still loses a career 2.94 ERA pitcher (2.53 prior to 2016, his worst career season) with invaluable starting experience in high pressure games, including the playoffs.

Harvey’s last start brought him out of 2016 on a sour note. After an auspicious 2.92 ERA June, it looked like the worst might be behind Harvey. He could begin to help the Mets and their struggling offense battle back in the division. His first, and only, start of July lasted just 3.2 innings against the Marlins, in which he gave up six runs, five earned, on 11 hits against the Marlins.

Harvey’s agent, Scott Boras, blames Harvey’s 2016 issues on his thoracic-outlet syndrome, ESPN.com’s Adam Rubin reported. The team and Harvey believed it would be best for both parties for him to have the surgery. This would resolve the issue as soon as possible. And give Harvey plenty of time to re-tune himself for next season.

Terry Collins’ Mets will have to have a seriously strong showing without one of their premier players in the latter half of 2016. Photo courtesy of sportingnews.com

With Harvey’s exit from the rotation, Logan Verrett once again finds himself in the Mets’ rotation this year. Verrett has made two seperate stints as a starter already this year. He stood in for Jacob deGrom for two starts back in April, and has compiled four more starts since then. On the year, Verrett has a 3-6 record with a 4.34 ERA in 56 innings.

As a starting pitcher, including Saturday’s loss against the Washington Nationals, Verrett has a 5.64 ERA through 30.1 innings. Verrett’s biggest struggle on Saturday proved to be control. He allowed just four hits through 6.2 innings, but walked five men ultimately leading to five runs surrendered. Verrett doesn’t seem worried about filling Harvey’s shoes, however, and is bringing a positive mindset to a very pressure-filled position. He told MLB.com’s Josh Needelman, “I know I’m not Matt Harvey. I’m Logan Verrett. My job is to pitch.”

The loss of Harvey doesn’t just put pressure on his replacement, however. The Mets offense has looked lackluster in the runs column through most of the year. They will certainly need to step it up if they want to remain in the hunt for the division. While I’m not counting the Mets out of the race in the East quite yet, they will have to see more production out of their offense if they want to hang in the division.

New York currently sits in the bottom third of the MLB in the majority of offensive categories, including 28th in runs scored. With Lucas Duda and David Wright still on the DL, and Yoenis Cespedes still sporadically missing games due to various injuries, someone on this Mets squad will have to step up and provide a spark.

This article uses information from ESPN.com and MLB.com.

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