ATLANTA -- In order to keep Matt Harvey sharp for the postseason, the New York Mets now plan to give him regular starts down the stretch. However, the starts will be half-outings, with another pitcher being used after Harvey for multiple innings.
The plan is likely to begin next Sunday against the New York Yankees, when Harvey is tentatively scheduled to pitch after an 11-day layoff. Rookie Logan Verrett is taking Harvey's turn on Monday against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field.
The motivation for using Harvey more frequently but for shorter durations is to keep him sharp for the postseason while keeping his innings count in check. Harvey currently sits at 171 2/3 innings in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. Agent Scott Boras has suggested that exceeding 180 innings might imperil Harvey's health.
"We've got to get him on the mound a little more consistently," Collins said. "Every 12 days is not a good scenario." Three regular-season starts down the stretch of shorter duration as part of a six-man rotation would have Harvey exceed that 180-inning total, but not by much.