Harvey not a fan of six-man rotation
Collins says he understands righty's concerns, adds he must 'get over it'
LOS ANGELES -- Unprompted, when asked about his struggles after Saturday's 4-3 loss to the Dodgers, Matt Harvey at least partially blamed his discomfort in the Mets' six-man rotation.
A day later, manager Terry Collins recommended that Harvey and his other starting pitchers "get over it."
"They've got to," Collins said. "Matt knows that. I know he's frustrated by it, and he and I have talked about it. But you've got to come up and be creative between starts. I certainly understand it. I certainly do understand it. He's a tremendous competitor and he wants to be out there as much as he can on a regular basis. I guess the easiest way for me to say it is, 'Matt, we'll go back to a five-man, but I hope you enjoy watching the rest of the season sitting on the bench in September when we need you.' So we've got to make the adjustment."
After Saturday's start, Harvey spoke at length about his lack of "rhythm," throwing only one bullpen session in the six full days between outings. He plans to mix that up this turn through the rotation, throwing two bullpens like the club's other starters.
All the Mets can do is hope that Harvey learns how to succeed with an extra day of rest each time through the rotation, considering how committed the team is to limiting him in his first year back from Tommy John surgery. Unlike earlier this season, the Mets are now firmly entrenched in their six-man plan, knowing it is the only reasonable way to keep Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz even close to their various innings limits.
When the Mets floated the first iteration of their six-man rotation two months ago, Harvey almost immediately walked into Collins' offense to voice his concerns -- chief among them his routine between starts. And while Harvey's career numbers suggest he improves with more rest, going from a 3.19 ERA on four days to 2.45 on five and 1.41 on six, it's clear that Harvey does not like the extended breaks.
"We've got to get him to figure it out," Collins said, joking that Harvey can pitch for Class A Brooklyn during the All-Star break if he hates rest that much. "He just likes to play baseball. He likes to be out there. I totally, totally understand it."