Matthew Cerrone: I'm torn on this Matt Harvey situation. If you're just tuning in, Terry Collins said Wednesday night that he was going to "put his head through the wall," after learning Harvey threw off a mound earlier in the day (ESPN, Aug. 13).
The way I understand it, while Harvey wasn't told to 'stop everything' by the front office, the two sides touched base earlier Tuesday and left with an understanding that they would revisit his workout and rehab plan, in light of Jeremy Hefner's recent setback.
“One of the reasons why we have tried to back Matt off is because of how he is mentally,” Collins said late Wednesday. “The guy is a bulldog. There’s no such thing as low-speed."
It's totally understandable that Collins would speak out and be frustrated when learning of Harvey continuing on the same path he was on earlier in the week. The thing is, in Harvey's defense, he's been cleared to throw by doctors, he has been throwing, and he eventually has to get healthy and return to pitching. It's what he does. And, if the doctors say it's fine, well, what else is he supposed to do?
"I think they're just being super mega cautious," B/R's injury expert Will Carroll told me, when I asked if there is any reason to slow Harvey's progress, simply because a teammate re-injured the same ligament. "Its neither good nor bad since their goal was always to complete the rehab slowly and then give him a full, 'normal,' offseason. Maybe they found something in Hefner's rehab that gave them pause, but there's no way to know that from out here and I can't imagine how comparable it would be."
Look, I can't apologize for thinking Harvey is awesome. I love that he's bold, aggressive and focused on being the best player in baseball, all while doing it with a little flash. He can't get back quickly enough, in my book. Simply put, I miss watching him pitch. It was a great show. At the same time, it would be totally devastating and demoralizing if he injured himself and had to sit out another season. So, I get why it's natural to want to move slowly and be 'super mega cautious,' as Carroll said. However, pitchers pitch. It's what they do. And, if the doctors say he can pitch, I can't fault him for that...