NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York Mets scratched Matt Harvey for his scheduled start Sunday against the Miami Marlins and suspended the right-hander three days for an undisclosed violation of team rules.
General manager Sandy Alderson announced the suspension in a brief statement before the game, saying that Harvey had been sent home but declining further comment. The team said the suspension was effective Saturday.
“We are going to keep it in house, the way it’s supposed to be,” manager Terry Collins said. “We hope to put it behind us and move forward.”
Left-hander Adam Wilk was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas to start in Harvey’s place. The three-day suspension removes Harvey from the 25-man roster. The Mets transferred Noah Syndergaard to the 60-day disabled list to open a spot on the 40-man roster for Wilk.
The Mets lost 7-0 to the Miami Marlins Sunday.
As CBS2’s Steve Overymer reported, this was the latest sign of a strained relationship between Harvey and the Mets. While the Mets have not specified the exact reason for the suspension, reports have surfaced that Harvey did not show up for the game on Saturday because he said he had a headache.
There are also reports of issues surrounding Harvey’s tardiness.
“You have to take the entire club into perspective,” Collins said. “It’s a big picture of things. In order to be able to take control of things, you have to make tough decisions, and this was one of them,” Collins said.
Collins indicated that he was aware beforehand that a suspension could be on the horizon for Harvey.
“There were some moves made last night because we felt this might occur,” he said.
Overmyer asked WFAN Mets reporter Ed Coleman how Harvey is viewed in the situation.
“There probably is a little bit of separation between he and the Mets. He and his teammates – you know, his teammates stood behind him today when we asked Jay Bruce, Neil Walker, Jose Reyes and others, you know, they said, ‘Hey – he made a mistake. We’ll straighten it out. We’ll get back together,” Coleman said. “But that’s what teammates do. They stand behind their teammates. I’m not exactly sure, you know, you’d probably have to talk to them off the record to see how they really feel about it, but, you know, they stood behind him publicly today.”
But Coleman said Harvey’s teammates likely are not thrilled.
“It’s not something that you like, I don’t think, as a teammate when your starting pitcher, you know, doesn’t bother to show up to the park the day before, and you know, he’s scheduled to take the ball and go out there, and try to give you a sweep of the Miami team that’s in your division, so it’s not a great situation,” he said.
Coleman added that the public’s patience with Harvey has dwindled significantly, and boos would hardly help the team.
I honestly, Steve, don’t know what they’re going to do here with Harvey when he does come back,” Coleman told Overmyer. “He can pitch as early as Tuesday, but I’m wondering what kind of fan reaction they’re going to get if he pitches at Citi Field.”
[graphiq id=”hLFQKAWAZnv” title=”Matt Harvey Career Pitching” width=”600″ height=”403″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/hLFQKAWAZnv” ]
In his first season after having a rib removed to treat thoracic outlet syndrome, the 28-year-old Harvey has struggled to a 2-2 record with a 5.14 ERA over 35 innings. Harvey is coming off two of the worst starts of his career, allowing 12 runs over 9 2/3 innings with eight walks in a pair of losses to Atlanta.
He missed the 2014 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Harvey’s best season was in 2015, when he went 13-8 with a 2.71 ERA. But that year, in his first postseason, he missed a mandatory workout the day before the NL East champion Mets traveled to Los Angeles for their playoff opener against the Dodgers. He apologized for his late arrival, for which he was fined. Harvey offered no public explanation for his tardiness, saying he simply “screwed up.”
Harvey’s suspension is the latest blow for the Mets, who have been plagued with injuries this season. New York is missing ace right-hander Syndergaard (latissimus dorsi), outfielder Yoenis Cespedes (hamstring), first baseman Lucas Duda (elbow), catcher Travis d’Arnaud (wrist), left-hander Steven Matz (elbow), right-hander Seth Lugo (elbow), third baseman David Wright (recovery from neck surgery) and outfielder Brandon Nimmo (hamstring). Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera left Saturday’s game with an injured left thumb.
The team already has dealt with several public relations issues this season. Syndergaard initially missed a start with what the Mets said was biceps and shoulder discomfort and then made his next start against Washington after refusing to undergo an MRI. He was removed with the lat injury after only 11 batters. Syndergaard issued an apology Saturday to Mets public relations director Jay Horowitz and to members of the media for an outburst on April 27.
Backup catcher Kevin Plawecki was at the center of a controversy Friday when a sex toy could be viewed in his locker in a photo the Mets tweeted of T.J. Rivera wearing the star-of-the-game crown after New York’s come-from-behind victory.
Collins had a closed-door meeting with the team to address the situation, which Plawecki described as a prank.
The suspension comes less than a day after the team announced Syndergaard would be out until at least the All-Star Game with the partial lat strain.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)