The Mets have suspended righthander Matt Harvey for three days without pay for violating team rules, general manager Sandy Alderson announced Sunday. They did not specify Harvey’s transgression, but a source said Harvey did not show up at Saturday’s game, attributing his absence to a migraine headache.
“There are rules here that weren’t adhered to and we took a stance,’’ manager Terry Collins said after the Mets were beaten, 7-0, by the Marlins, who pelted Triple-A Las Vegas call-up Adam Wilk, a lefthander who arrived from Los Angeles at 8:45 a.m. to replace Harvey. “Hopefully, it gets behind us and we can move forward and go back playing the way we’ve been the last week.’’
Alderson made a short statement and did not take questions before the game. “Matt Harvey has been suspended for three days without pay for violation of club rules,’’ he said. “And has been sent home. He will not start today.’’
The team said Harvey’s suspension started Saturday. He is expected to return to the team Tuesday, but Collins did not say when he will be placed back in the rotation.
Harvey, 28, is 2-2 with a 5.14 ERA after surgery last July to address thoracic outlet syndrome. He missed the 2014 season with Tommy John surgery and is 31-30 in his career.
Harvey has a one-year contract for $5.125 million, and his suspension amounts to more than $28,000 a day. He can become a free agent after the 2018 season.
Harvey was observed in the Mets’ clubhouse before Friday night’s game with the Marlins. He reportedly played golf Saturday and felt ill with the migraine when he returned home at 1 p.m. According to the report, he called the Mets to say he could not attend the night game. Harvey was informed of his suspension when he arrived at Citi Field on Sunday morning. Harvey reportedly blamed the matter on miscommunication, but the Mets did not relent.
Harvey has had two other known dustups in his Mets career. There was an innings-limit issue that caused disagreement between the team and Harvey’s agent, Scott Boras, in September 2015. Then, on Oct. 6 of that year, Harvey showed up late for a workout during the postseason, said he “screwed up’’ and apologized to his teammates.
Harvey reportedly will appeal the suspension. Boras, reached on his cellphone, said, “I’m not taking any calls on this line’’ and hung up. The Major League Baseball Players Association could not be reached.
In a pregame radio interview with WOR, the Mets’ flagship station, Collins said the team has goals and “we will not tolerate anything that is going to detract from that. We had to make a statement today. Everybody’s different, but we got a job to do here and this guy has a chance to be one of the best in the game and it’s got to become his No. 1 priority right now.”
Collins addressed the Mets in a closed meeting and said the players were on board with the team’s action.
“Oh, yes. We’re disappointed,’’ Jose Reyes said. “You know, you have to understand you’re an employee. You have to come do your job every day. And we count on him. He’s a big piece of the ballclub and where we need to go. It’s kind of disappointing because we feel we’re a team and the team put a rule up at spring training and everybody knows here what the rules are. So when you miss, that’s not acceptable. Hopefully, he learns from that and it goes from there.’’
Jay Bruce said the players didn’t feel disrespected but added: “There’s things that happen during the season. Any work environment. It’s part of life. You have to deal with it and there are consequences for actions. There’s a team policy that was broken and he’s serving the consequence.’’
Neil Walker said he hopes Harvey learns a lesson from the suspension. “Things happen,’’ he said. “It’s a long season and we’ve all been part of situations where guys break team rules and then they deserve the consequences . . . Matt will be accepted back here with open arms and we hope he’s the best version of himself when he comes back, and we believe he will be.’’
With Marc Carig and Roger Rubin
The Harvey File
Harvey’s innings limit: In September 2015, with the Mets making a playoff push, Harvey’s agent, Scott Boras, tells CBSSports.com that Harvey’s doctor who performed his Tommy John surgery say he shouldn’t throw more than 180 innings in a season. At that point, Harvey had already thrown 166 1/3 innings. Harvey eventually had a change of heart and decided the innings limit was not an issue. He finished the season, including the playoffs, with 216 innings. In true Harvey fashion, his final inning of the season was controversial, too: He talked Terry Collins into letting him pitch the ninth inning of Game 5 of the World Series, and the decision backfired as the Royals rallied to tie it. ESPN said that was the most any pitcher has thrown in the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Harvey misses NLDS workout: In October 2015, Harvey was a no-show for a team workout in advance of the Mets’ first postseason appearance in nine years. Harvey was caught in traffic and didn’t arrive till after the workout concluded. Mets manager Terry Collins said Harvey apologized for losing track of time: “He says, ‘I messed up. I was doing this and that, I looked up and it as 1 o’clock. I’m sorry. I understand it looked bad.” The Mets fined him for missing the workout.
Harvey’s 2016 cut short: In July, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said a St. Louis-based specialist had diagnosed Harvey with symptoms consistent with thoracic outlet syndrome, a condition that causes numbness stemming from compressed nerves and blood vessels near the shoulder. Harvey chose to undergo season-ending surgery.