CINCINNATI -- Matt Harvey may pitch in Arizona Fall League games as he attempts to rehab from a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Monday.
Harvey has not begun throwing in his attempt to avoid Tommy John surgery, which he announced last week. But once he does so, Alderson wants to see Harvey pitch at a "near-competitive level pain-free, and perhaps on more than one occasion" before signing off on a continued course of rehab. Arizona Fall League games would qualify, the GM said, provided the Mets face no logistical hurdles in placing him on their AFL roster.
Though fall league roster spots are typically reserved for Minor Leaguers, Alderson said he does not expect any issues if the Mets decide to place Harvey there.
The team's ultimate goal is to know by mid-November whether Harvey can avoid surgery, or if he will need to undergo a Tommy John operation that would sideline him for all of 2014.
"The strong desire is that we will finish this process within the six- to eight-week time frame," Alderson said. "When it actually starts is a little bit unclear. We're in the six- to eight-week window, but when he actually starts throwing is a little bit unclear."
Sandy voices support for Collins, but future undecided
CINCINNATI -- Though he gave no hard assurances of Terry Collins' future with the Mets, general manager Sandy Alderson on Monday made clear his endorsement of the manager.
"I think I've been pretty open about my support of Terry," Alderson said. "I think he's done an excellent job across the board with the talent that he's had, with the injuries that he's had to endure, with the other changes in personnel. I think he's handled all of those situations and individual events exceptionally well. On the other hand, we haven't won, and that's always an issue. But it's not always a result that can be pinned on the manager."
Regarding reports that he planned to meet this week with Collins to discuss the future, Alderson declined comment. But he said he expected to announce a resolution early in October.
Barring something shocking, that means Collins will be back next year for a fourth season in New York. Doing nothing to dispel the industry-wide assumption that Collins will return, Alderson even encouraged it during points of an informal 10-minute address.
"Wins and losses I don't think ever determine a manager's fate, frankly," Alderson said. "Even winning does not necessarily guarantee tenure. It's always a little bit subjective, in this case perhaps more so. You have to temper your evaluation with the circumstances and the context, which includes the players, the injuries, the trades, the other things that come into play on a daily basis.
"In anything like this, you have to constantly remind yourself of the need to be objective."
Alderson did admit that being objective "is very hard to do," particularly given Collins' overall body of work. In nearly three full seasons as manager of the Mets, Collins has gone 222-257, posting the worst winning percentage at any of his three managerial posts. But he has done so with a roster riddled by injuries, decimated by trades and only lightly reinforced by players from outside the organization.
Alderson publicly recognized those issues Monday, adding that "in the totality of the season, the working relationship has been very good."
Once the Mets announce Collins' future, they will go to work evaluating his coaching staff. Pitching coach Dan Warthen and hitting coach Dave Hudgens have been with Collins since the beginning of his tenure, while the rest of the staff came aboard following the 2011 season. Alderson did not offer any indications regarding their job security, though he did say that Triple-A manager Wally Backman will at least be invited back to serve in the same capacity, and would be a candidate for any big league coaching vacancy.