The drama is obvious: Matt Harvey, Mets pitching prospect, will pitch Monday night in Buffalo. Much of the New York front office is expected to be in attendance; the game will be televised on SNY.
The idea is, if Harvey pitches well enough, he’ll earn a Saturday start at Citi Field against the Dodgers, and the chance to take Dillon Gee’s spot in the rotation.
But is anyone really buying the idea that this start will determine Harvey’s fate? I’m not.
This is not a haphazard New York Mets front office. They aren’t engaged in daily debates over the long-term plan for their players, particularly Harvey, one of the most important assets in the Mets’ organization.
By the time Mets brass gathers to watch Harvey pitch, they will have collected the reports on Harvey, will have seen him pitch many times, will have a sense of Harvey that can’t be changed very much, if at all, by six innings against Triple-A hitters.
My suspicion is that the decision has not only been made, but it has been made to promote him. I don’t think the Mets would put this game on SNY, publicly dicuss Harvey’s audition, if they weren’t intent upon setting him up to succeed. The question of whether Harvey should be with the Mets hasn’t been about his success against Triple-A hitters, anyway, but whether his command of secondary pitches will translate to major league success. No results on Monday night, regardless of outcome, will tell anybody that.
So enjoy the Harvey start, and the fact that SNY is so good about giving us minor league games on Mets off days. But figure, unless something awful happens Monday night, that you can also see Matt Harvey Saturday at Citi Field, and get an Edgardo Alfonzo bobblehead while you’re at it!