Can Harvey do for the Mets staff what Valdespin has for the offense

The second half of the season has been a complete disaster for the New York Mets.  A team that once stood six games over .500 and 1/2 game from a wild-card spot less than two weeks ago has lost 8 of 9 coming out of the break and is now under .500 for the first time this season.  These days it’s hard to imagine the team winning a series let alone contend for a playoff spot and the mood amongst fans is somber once again.  There have been injuries, there have been some bad breaks, but more than anything the team has not played well and the front office has done nothing to bring in new players from the outside to help raise the teams talent level.

To date the team has failed to act on the premise that they will be ‘buyers’ at the trade deadline and more and more it appears as though the only shot in the arm the club will receive will be from within.  Jordany Valdespin has already been up with the team for some time now and the 24-year-old spark plug has provided life to an often stagnant offense.  ‘Spin is 8-17 since the break (.471 avg) and has belted two homers while driving in six runs during that time.

His play finally forced manager Terry Collins to start him in left field yesterday for the first time in over a week and he continues to fuel fans with an energy that’s noticeably missing when he’s out of the line-up.  Don’t believe me?  Check out Twitter some time during a game and see how Mets fans react when #1 does his thing (#Spinsanity, #Imthemanrightnow, #JV1).  There’s an excitement not just about what he’s done, but what might be to come.  On Thursday, Matt Harvey will have an opportunity to give fans that same sense of hope.

Mets announce Harvey starts Thursday.
Kevin Burkhardt

That may sound like a lot of pressure, but I think Mets fans are far to smart to view Harvey as a savior for this season.

Photo by Michael G. Baron

I think the Mets have done a great job tempering expectations for their 23-year-old pitching prospect as they’ve been vocal in expressing that, in an ideal world, he would have more time to work on things in Triple-A before trying his hand at the big league level.  Still, this is New York, and so the expectation is that should he struggle on Thursday fans will be harsh and overreact.  Honestly, I just don’t see that happening.  Win or lose, good or bad, I think Mets fans will welcome the distraction from the tailspin of this past week and recognize that Harvey, while a top prospect and potentially a big part of the teams future, may experience growing pains.  In short, I think the fans will take Rich Coutinho’s advice.

Met fans whether harvey pitches well or not resist temptation to over react either way still a developing prospect
Rich Coutinho

Photo by Michael G. Baron

Not unlike Valdespin, who was considered a bit raw coming out of camp, Harvey’s has an opportunity to provide an immediate spark to an area of the team that has struggled mightily of late.  I believe that as they did with Valdespin, who collected just two hits through is first 21 at-bats (.095 avg), fans will show patience and support Harvey in a manner that reflects a real understanding of what his presence means at this time.  It’s an opportunity for him to learn, gain experience, and give fans a glimpse into a hopeful future.  Whether he succeeds at this very moment in time isn’t as important as how he continues to develop, be it at the major league level or back in the minors.  Seeing Harvey on the mound Thursday will be a nice change from the norm and I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed the exchange between he and fellow pitching prospect Zack Wheeler on Twitter.

Thank you everyone for the support! Such an amazing feeling. Heading to the airport and NYC early in the morning.
Matt Harvey

@ congrats bud. Do work and just do you and pitch.
Zack wheeler

@ thanks brotha. Keep doin your thing to man!! See u soon
Matt Harvey

Hmmm, I don’t want to get greedy but how soon is soon?  Good time ahead Mets fans!




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  • Reese Kaplan

    In order for Harvey to do for the pitching what Valdespin has done for the offense then he would have to get buried on Collins’ bench behind such luminaries as Jeremy Hefner — the pitching equivalent of Jason Bay, Andres Torres and lately Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

  • JRobotham

     LOL, very true Reese!  I guess I meant in the fans eyes, not in Terry’s.