New York Mets starter Matt Harvey's 2013 season is officially over, as a Monday morning MRI revealed a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right arm. Harvey heads to the disabled list with a long recovery ahead of him, one that will likely drag on far into the offseason and put his availability for Opening Day 2014 in question.
The Mets have not decided whether Harvey will need Tommy John surgery, that call will be made at a later date according to Fox Sports. If he indeed does have the procedure, it will keep him out for a 12-18 month recovery period. Harvey would not be ready to debut in 2014 until at least August and could miss the entire season.
Harvey's year ends right before he was scheduled to be shut down by the Mets due to a team-imposed innings limit. Through 26 starts this season Harvey held a 2.27 ERA which was second best in the majors. He finishes 2013 with a 9-5 record, 0.931 WHIP, 191 strikeouts and just 31 walks in 178 1/3 innings. Harvey was a first-time All-Star and the starting pitcher for the National League team at Citi Field in New York.
As CSN's Mark Zuckerman pointed out on Twitter, Harvey's diagnosis comes exactly three years after Stephen Strasburg found out his UCL was torn. Strasburg underwent Tommy John surgery in Aug. of 2010 and worked his way back to return late in the 2011 season. In parts of three MLB seasons since the surgery, Strasburg has a 2.97 ERA across 58 total starts.
The Nats have also seen Jordan Zimmermann successfully return from Tommy John surgery. Since having the procedure in 2010, Zimmermann has made 84 starts and held a 3.14 ERA.
Harvey, 24, has established himself as one of the best young pitchers we've seen in the majors in quite some time. Obviously this is a setback for his career, but the evidence shows he can come back just as strong, even if Tommy John surgery is next course of action.