Matt Harvey may be gone for a full year. David Wright is on the disabled list. Marlon Byrd and John Buck have been traded, and the Mets have an uphill battle to finish .500, which seems very unlikely to happen.
So, now what?
“The successful teams, the successful organizations, respond to these setbacks,” Sandy Alderson said Tuesday, when addressing the media about Harvey, Buck and Byrd. “That’s exactly what we have to do.”
The test for Terry Collins...
Collins does not have a contract for next season. There have been multiple reports indicating Alderson is leaning toward keeping him. However, I have long been told, the decision mostly comes down to: 1) How well he relates to and communicates with his players, and 2) How focused and motivated the team remains down the stretch of the season.
He has kept them to focused and motivated, so far. There was a stretch through June and July when he had his team playing as one of the best units in baseball. But, the Mets had lost 9 of their last 13 games prior to announcing Harvey's injury. They traded John Buck and Marlon Byrd, prompting a number of remaining players to question the front office's choices. It's now up to Collins to keep his team glued together, which is exactly what he's going to be judged on, not necessarily whether they outscore the other team. In the absence of Harvey, Buck, Byrd and Wright, it will bode very well for Collins if he can keep his youngest players focused and working hard.
At the same time, Alderson also needs to investigate and understand his manager's role in Harvey's injury. Were there signs the coaching staff should have been aware or picked up on? Was there a momentary lack of communication, from a manager who is often praised for it? Is it the training staff... again? I don't have these answers, but Alderson should; and he better trust them before making a decision about his manager.
In the next few days, I will be writing about Harvey’s injury impacts Zack Wheeler and improving the team’s offense and rotation. To see how Harvey's injury should impact spending, click here...