GM Alderson lays out Harvey plan

NEW YORK -- If the New York Mets reach the postseason in 2015, returning ace Matt Harvey will not face a Stephen Strasburg-like shutdown.

General manager Sandy Alderson said Tuesday that Harvey's in-season innings will be managed in order to keep him available to pitch deep into October without reaching an innings cap.

Harvey underwent Tommy John surgery Oct. 22, 2013.

Alderson shared his ideas with Harvey within the past few days and suggested the right-hander is in agreement.

The Washington Nationals created drama in 2012 by shutting down Strasburg in early September, in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery. Washington, without Strasburg, was eliminated by the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Division Series that year.

Alderson said Harvey will be in the rotation from the start of the 2015 season. Curtailing Harvey's innings will be accomplished by strategically using off days to skip Harvey starts throughout the year.

Alderson said he also could foresee one of the organization's young pitchers -- Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, Cory Mazzoni or Steven Matz -- being called up from Triple-A on occasion for a spot start in place of Harvey and then immediately returned to the minors.

According to the GM, there will not be a formal six-man rotation, though.

Alderson added that Harvey could get a two-week shutdown at some point during the middle of the season, perhaps tied to the All-Star break. The Mets did a similar thing with Jacob deGrom last season while he was dealing with a mild shoulder issue, and the right-hander came back energized en route to earning the NL Rookie of the Year Award.

Alderson said Harvey will have a "soft" innings cap rather than a strict number. The GM added that Harvey, who logged 178 1/3 innings in 2013, will be 18 months post-surgery by the time the season arrives -- a very conservative rehab period.

"We can probably accomplish all of the things we need to by managing his starts in the rotation," Alderson said.

Harvey currently is lightly throwing on flat ground. A Manhattan resident, he works out a few times a week at Citi Field.