NEW YORK -- The Mets pray that Matt Harvey's injury story finishes similar to Roy Halladay's with the Blue Jays and Phillies.
Harvey has a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow which could require Tommy John surgery. But Harvey hopes to avoid surgery, like Halladay, who suffered a tear in his right elbow in 2006. Halladay never required surgery and resumed his All-Star career without a hitch.
Halladay spoke with Harvey on Tuesday at the request of Mets manager Terry Collins.
"From what I understand, I think 95 percent of the pitchers in baseball have some changes in their ligament," Halladay said before Wednesday's game against the Mets at Citi Field. "That's not anything out of the ordinary. But I got a chance to talk to Andy Pettitte. He went through the same thing."
Halladay said he developed a training program with the Blue Jays athletic training staff and said he resumed a normal Spring Training in 2007.
"I've never had a forearm issue since then," Halladay said. "I had some pretty good years after that. Most every pitcher is going to have changes in the UCL, so once they get the inflammation down and he gets that second opinion, if it turns out that it's not something that has to be repaired ... it sounded to me that it's very similar to what I had.
"Really, it was a strengthening program we started during the winter, doing a lot of wrist and forearm manual exercises and some different treatments, contrasting and things like that. So I just shared that with him and what I went through. [Dr. James] Andrews had told me that they felt like at some point they would have to go in and repair it, that was eight years ago and I've never had an issue since."
Sandberg making case to return as manager in '14
NEW YORK -- Not too many people know what the future holds for Phillies interim manager Ryne Sandberg, but at the moment the smart bet is he will be in the dugout managing the Phillies in 2014.
He has been impressive through 12 games, although much can change.
Asked Wednesday at Citi Field if Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. provided him a timetable for a decision about his future, Sandberg said, "No, he didn't talk about that. Nope. He told me ... I'd be named interim manager and we were both on the same page. I might've had as much input or more to say than he did as far as these are meaningful games for evaluation of the players and all that. Fairly easy conversation, but it was left at that."
Ruf gets rare night off against Mets
NEW YORK -- Ryne Sandberg has used 13 lineups in 13 games, which hasn't been the plan. But when a team is trying to get a look at different personnel for the future, it just happens to work out that way.
Darin Ruf had started the first 12 of those games before getting the night off Wednesday against the Mets at Citi Field. It was Ruf's first game off since July 21, snapping a streak of 33 consecutive games started.
"He's done a heck of a job," Sandberg said. "He's played the schedule -- day games, night games. He's moved around to different positions and really played hard and maybe this is a day to quicken up his bat a little and then get him back after it. He's had a good string of games and it's a good thing [for a day off] because he's done well."
Ruf entered the night with nine homers this month, which are the most in the National League and third-most in baseball. He also has played first base, left field and right field.
"He's handled it great," Sandberg said. "I saw him a little bit at first base during the spring and I liked his moves over there so I wasn't surprised about first base. In left field, he struggled some in Spring Training and then gradually got better before he was sent down.
"I had heard he came a long way with left field and then he's here and he's in right field with no experience and he's been great. It's been a pleasant surprise and he's done well at all three positions along with a surprising arm throwing from the outfield. That surprised me a lot. I didn't know he had an arm like that."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.