New York Mets starter Matt Harvey is facing season-ending shoulder surgery as he has been diagnosed with “symptoms consistent with thoracic outlet syndrome," the team announced in a press conference on Thursday. According to general manager Sandy Alderson, surgery, while not immediately necessary, is inevitable for the righthander.
Harvey, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with discomfort in his throwing shoulder on Wednesday after giving up six runs in Monday's loss to the Miami Marlins, met with team doctors yesterday and was referred to another doctor in St. Louis for examination. Tests revealed symptoms consistent with thoracic outlet syndrome, a condition that results from excess pressure on the nerves or blood vessels between the rib cage and collarbone that can cause pain in the shoulder and neck. Harvey can either choose to have surgery that would correct the problem but end his season, or receive an injection to attempt to treat the issue.
Harvey, who was scheduled to pitch Saturday against the Washington Nationals but will be replaced by Logan Verrett, has struggled this season, with a 4–10 mark and 4.86 ERA in 92 2/3 innings over 17 starts. His struggles come after a year in which he threw 216 innings between the regular season and playoffs despite undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012 that cost him the entire '13 season. Harvey’s innings limit became a major topic of discussion late last season, primarily as raised by his agent, Scott Boras, but despite the concern, he went past his recommended innings limit of 180 and pitched all the way into the World Series.
The Mets are 46–38 entering Thursday, sitting four games behind the Nationals for first place in the National League East and 2 1/2 games ahead of the Marlins for the NL's second wild-card spot.