Time is running out for Matt Harvey. During spring training I wrote an article praising the fallen star. I thought 2018 would be a turnaround season, a year where he would regain his precision even if his velocity did not return. Over his first four starts, Harvey is 0-2 with an ERA of 6.00 and a batting average against of .302. Whatever he is doing is not working.
The team has some tough decisions to make. Should the Mets release Harvey? Should they send Harvey down or move him into the bullpen? According to SNY.tv, Harvey had made these comments following his last start.
“I am a starting pitcher,” Harvey said when asked about the situation. “That is what my mindset is. That is how I’m going to prepare, and that’s how I get ready.”
Harvey later went on to say that he thinks that something clicked over the last three innings of his start, that there was something positive to take out of his six innings where he gave up six runs…
This cannot be farther from the truth. The time for excuses is over, Harvey needs to work to reinvent himself. This could mean that he needs to go to Triple-A to work on his pitches or be moved to the bullpen, Harvey needs to be acceptive of a change. He is no longer the Dark Knight, those days are two major surgeries in the past.
Being a fan myself, I feel for Harvey. He probably has never struggled before, the former star probably started dominating in his days playing Little League baseball. He needs to put his ego aside and do what is the best for himself and the team. If he is not careful, he could find himself being released.
SNY analyst Nelson Figueroa has this to say about Matt’s situation.
“And we keep hearing, ‘I don’t have my best stuff, I don’t have a feel. I don’t have my mechanics.’ There’s so many little excuses and it’s at that point where it’s kind of running ragged. I can’t really listen to the interviews anymore. And finding positives out of very small, minute things. If I heard that out of Chris Flexen, that my last two innings were pretty good and that’s a huge step? Yes, welcome to the big leagues, kid. This is not where Matt Harvey should be thinking and focusing.”
In my opinion, Harvey should focus on a move to the bullpen. This move would allow him to be a two-pitch pitcher, he could focus on his fastball and slider. This should see his fastball jump up to 95 ish mph. Harvey definitely has the right pitching coach to make this move work. Dave Eiland was recently asked if he has ever turned a successful starter into a good reliever, he immediately brought up Wade Davis.
“It turned out pretty well for him,” Eiland said about Davis.
Davis has 87 career saves and a 1.87 ERA as a reliever. This earned him a three-year, $52 million contract. Could Matt Harvey turn into the next Wade Davis? This might be a stretch but it is definitely not out of the question. Harvey has been elite before, in the right situation he might be able to be elite again. Matt, please give this a chance.