The Matt Harvey news that he has a partially torn UCL and could be having Tommy John Surgery soon came out today. There was a very active twitter discussion on whether his torn UCL could be traced back to his collegiate days at North Carolina. These are just the facts of the amount of innings and some of the insane pitch count totals that Harvey had during his career with the Tar Heels.
Harvey’s freshman season during 2008 season saw him pitch in 19 games (16 starts) for a total of 67.2 innings pitched while going 7-2 with a 2.79 ERA. His pitch count totals do not show up on the Boyd’s World Pitch Count Report. He followed up that season playing in the Cape Cod Baseball League with the Chatham Anglers pitching in nine games (one start) with a 1-1 record and an ERA of 0.83 for a total of 21.2 innings.
His numbers for his sophomore season in 2009 saw him pitch in 21 games (13 starts) while going 7-2 with a 5.40 ERA in 75 innings pitched. He shows up on the Boyd’s World Pitch Count Report with one appearance of a pitch count between 121-132 pitches. He played that summer in the Cape Cod Baseball League again with the Chatham Anglers. This time he worked out of the bullpen primarily appearing in seven games (three starts) with a 0-2 record and an ERA of 6.00 in 18 innings.
The real danger really happened during his junior and the first time he was eligible for the MLB Draft during 2010. He pitched in 14 games (all starts) going 8-3 with a 3.09 ERA including two complete games in 96 innings pitched. His name shows up on the Boyd’s World Pitch Count Report seven times. On two occasions he tossed more then 133 pitches and between 121-132 on five different occasions.
This isn’t the first time that pitch counts at UNC have come under question in the last few months. During the NCAA Tournament, Twitter lit up when North Carolina brought back Kent Emanuel after one day of rest in the 2013 NCAA Chapel Hill Regional. On June 1st, Emanuel pitched 7.2 innings tossing 124 pitches in a winner’s bracket game against Towson. After getting a day of rest on Sunday, he pitched in a winner take all game against Florida Atlantic on Monday. He came in during the eighth inning pitching a total of 1.2 ineffective innings while tossing 51 pitches.
So has Mike Fox and North Carolina abused these two arms? Can they be blamed for Harvey’s injury at all?
Tell us what you think in the comments below.