By Ed Coleman
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Finally, Matt Harvey has arrived.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is by the time he pitches this coming Thursday in Arizona, it may not matter if the Mets keep losing at this rate. And don’t expect much help to arrive by the trading deadline on July 31, especially if the losses continue this week.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson made that abundantly clear on Monday and in earlier statements when he said that the games leading up to the deadline would determine the organization’s course.
The Mets were 46-40 at the All-Star break, and now find themselves under .500 for the first time all season. They generated a lot of good will with their stellar first half, and don’t necessarily want to see that disappear or fade with a losing spiral in the second half.
But Alderson has always contended that the Mets are following a long-term plan, while reserving some room for short-term flexibility if necessary.
But back to Harvey. Alderson was asked what he told the young pitcher when he arrived on Monday.
Harvey himself feels he’s ready — so what convinced him that now is the proper time?
Manager Terry Collins is quite glad to have him aboard, and excited to see him pitch against the Diamondbacks.
When Josh Thole suffered his concussion and was placed on the DL, the Mets called up catcher Rob Johnson from Triple-A Buffalo to take his place on the roster. Johnson was instrumental in the development of Harvey, according to the young pitcher.
And how did Johnson help him as a battery-mate between the lines?
While watching Harvey during spring training this year, it was obvious that he was a bright kid who learned quickly and made adjustments easily, and that has aided his rapid rise.
Harvey has a good fastball, a power sinker, a bread-and-butter curve, and what may help him the most: a rapidly improving changeup.
Alderson was asked if there would be an innings limit imposed on the young right-hander.
The Mets have been both patient and cautious with their blue-chip prospects thus far. So have they tried to temper expectations by doing so?
Now with Harvey finally here, Alderson was asked whether his top pitching prospect – Zack Wheeler – might make an appearance at the major league level this season.
As for Harvey, a kid growing up in Connecticut, any idols while going through his formative pitching years? Brace yourself.
Well, Doc was both a Yankee and a Met. Maybe Harvey will burst upon the scene like the young Doctor did.
C U soon
Are you pumped for the kid’s debut? Be heard in the comments below!