The Dark Knight’s Next Evolution: From Hurler to Pitcher
I have been reading report after report about how Matt Harvey has had diminishing velocity of his fastball after his “thoracic outlet syndrome” surgery on July 18, 2016. According to a report on CBSSports.com, Harvey’s Spring Training start on March 11 had his fastball topped out at 94 MPH, unlike his normal 96 MPH heater he averaged prior to going under the knife.
I ask the question: SO?
“The Dark Knight” has had quite the up-and-down career ever since coming up to the Major Leagues on July 26, 2012. He was the toast of the town, establishing himself as baseball’s matt Harvehottest young stud throughout 2013, reaching the power of his peak with starting the All Star Game in Citi Field. Then, after sitting out the entire 2014 campaign after having Tommy John Surgery, Harvey stormed back in 2015 with a 13-8 record with a 2.71 ERA and 188 strikeouts. Combining the postseason, Harvey became the first pitcher to throw over 200 innings in a single season in his first year back.
However, 2016 was a nightmare for Harvey. After struggling throughout the first half of the season, going 4-10 in 17 starts with a 4.86 ERA, Harvey was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome.
According to the Mayo Clinic website, thoracic outlet syndrome is “a group of disorders that occur when blood vessels or nerves in the space between your collarbone and your first rib (thoracic outlet) are compressed. This can cause pain in your shoulders and neck and numbness in your fingers. Common causes of thoracic outlet syndrome include physical trauma from a car accident, repetitive injuries from job- or sports-related activities, certain anatomical defects (such as having an extra rib), and pregnancy. Sometimes doctors can’t determine the cause of thoracic outlet syndrome.”
So Harvey went underneath the knife on July 18 and was out for the remainder of the 2016 campaign. His surgery was so extensive that, according to Adam Rubin, it “involved removing a rib so that muscles constricting a nerve that bridges the neck and shoulder had space to relax.”
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