New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey hasn’t been himself the past few seasons. Since 2015, various injuries have limited Harvey’s effectiveness. His numbers have been in decline ever since.
Despite the trend, there were some who saw 2018 as an opportunity for Harvey to regain his form. The Mets hired former Cleveland Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway to manage the club, and the thought was Callaway could find a way to get Harvey back on track.
After a promising 2018 debut, things have gone off the rails for Harvey his past three times on the mound. He’s given up 14 runs in 16 innings during that period. Thursday’s start was his worst of the year, as Harvey gave up six earned runs over six innings against the Atlanta Braves.
Given Harvey’s struggles over the past few years, some reporters asked the 29-year-old if he would consider changing roles following Thursday’s start. Harvey didn’t seem too open to the idea.
When asked about possibly moving to the pen, Harvey repeatedly says: “I’m a starting pitcher.”
When asked if he’d accept a minor league assignment, Harvey says: “I can’t answer that right now.”
— Steve Gelbs (@SteveGelbs) April 20, 2018
You can’t really blame Harvey for pushing back. No starting pitcher is going to take himself out of the rotation, and you can’t expect a six-year veteran to say he’s excited about the prospect of going back to the minors, even if he’s struggling this much.
Through four starts, Harvey has a 6.00 ERA over 21 innings. He managed to go five scoreless innings during his first start of the season. Since then, Harvey has allowed at least four runs in each of his past three outings.
The results haven’t been good, and it’s up to Callaway to figure out the best course of action. There’s no easy answer. As a reliever, Harvey could try to succeed in shorter bursts, but it’s unclear whether he could handle pitching consecutive days. In the minors, Harvey could regain some confidence, but his results would be skewed by facing lesser competition.
Getting Harvey right was always going to be one of Callaway’s biggest challenges. While he has the rest of the season to figure out a solution, the early results haven’t been encouraging. That doesn’t bode well for Harvey moving forward.
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