SAN DIEGO — The Mets would consider placing ace Matt Harvey on the disabled list this summer if it helps extend his season into October — should New York make the playoffs.
"If he's a little ouchy then that's always a possibility," general manager Sandy Alderson said Sunday, the day before the winter meetings were to begin at a bayside hotel here. "Fatigue can manifest itself in ways that warrant a disabled list. ... We'll just have to see how he does."
Harvey is rehabbing from October 2013 elbow surgery, and has said he is on board with New York's plan to manage his innings next season.
Harvey and the Mets had a prickly relationship at times last season as the 25-year-old All-Star tried to work his way back before the end of the year. But he doesn't want to run into the same problem Stephen Strasburg did in 2012, when the Nationals shut down their young star in September at a determined innings limit. Strasburg was forced to sit out Washington's five-game loss in the NL Division Series.
The Mets haven't been to the playoffs since 2006 and they sure wouldn't want to jeopardize any chances for a return in 2015, especially on a team built around young pitching. Harvey will be joined by NL Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom and the hard-throwing Zack Wheeler in a formidable rotation.
There will be an innings limit for Harvey, but Alderson said they won't be held to a number.
"I think that we have to have something that we can vary from but I think we'll have a soft number," Alderson said, "and we'll have to manage it from start to start."
Harvey has been working out at Citi Field this offseason. He sent an Instagram photo of himself Sunday with the caption "Who says Sunday was a day of rest."
Next month he is going take his rehab to Newport Beach, California, to his agent Scott Boras' training facility. Alderson has no problem with the switch of venues.
"We have a lot of respect for the program he has out there, the people who work with his clients," Anderson said.