It's hard to imagine Matt Harvey's season going any worse. After posting a 4.86 ERA in just 17 starts in 2016, he has followed it with a 5.97 ERA in 2017, capped off by the worst start of his career last weekend in Houston. He lasted just two innings and allowed eight hits, seven runs, threw two wild pitches, and hit a batter. Mercifully, the Mets scrapped an ill-conceived plan to have him start on short rest, but at this point, it just feels like delaying the inevitable. Are we seeing the end of Matt Harvey?
Not many pitchers have returned to form after being treated for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, though few had his stature prior to it. Chris Carpenter, Cy Young winner with the 2005 Cardinals, was one of them, and it ended his career. That said, Carpenter was 37 years old and TOS was one of a half dozen significant arm injuries that studded his career. Josh Beckett also underwent the same rib-removal version of the procedure as Harvey (again, several years older), though notably he pitched one last exceptionally good season upon returning from it. Former Met Chris Young has also seen success upon return, though he is now beginning to show his age.
It's next to impossible to find good comparison cases for Harvey. Unlike Tommy John surgery, only a handful of major leaguers have undergone treatment for TOS. And what makes comparison even harder is the fact that they tend to have them at a much more advanced age...