The Mets placed Matt Harvey on the 15-day disabled list this afternoon and he will visit Dr. Robert Thompson in St. Louis on Thursday. Thompson is the director of the Washington University Center for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.
It is yet unclear whether Harvey is suffering from TOS at this point. Thursday’s visit will likely provide an answer.
TOS happens when excess pressure is placed on a neurovascular bundle near the collarbone and shoulder. In layman’s terms, there are a bunch of nerves and arteries and veins that pass between bones and muscle and can get pinched from repetitive strain.
A number of pitchers have been diagnosed with TOS in the past, including Chris Carpenter, Josh Beckett, Chris Young and Matt Harrison. Surgery is sometimes required to relieve the problem and some pitchers, Young, most notably, have returned and pitched well.
So we will see how Harvey fares tomorrow. If he is diagnosed with TOS, surgery could be in the future and his return to the majors could be delayed. On the other hand, a DL stint could be all Harvey needs to get back on track. Harvey is 4-10 with a 4.86 ERA in 17 starts this season. After a rough start, Harvey had five consecutive solid starts between May 30 and June 23, going at least six innings in each outing. He has gone just 3 2/3 innings in each of his last two starts and has just one double-digit strikeout performance this season.
The club announced Seth Lugo would be recalled from Triple-A.
Starting pitching depth figured to be one of the Mets’ strengths in 2016 but if Harvey is out for any significant amount of time – with Zack Wheeler still working on coming back from Tommy John surgery – the staff will be a bit thin heading into the second half.