Mets special assistant J.P. Ricciardi was one of the Mets entourage on hand as prospect Matt Harvey pitched 6.2 innings and allowed two runs in what was tabbed as his audition for a possible major league debut this Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“He’s a good one,” said Ricciardi, who sat behind home plate. “But he didn’t have his best stuff tonight. He showed me a lot by competing.”
Asked if he thought Harvey would get the ball on Saturday over 41-year-old Miguel Batista, Ricciardi said, “I don’t know. I’ve got to call Sandy (Alderson). We’ll see. I walk away tonight with a lot of good things, even though he wasn’t as good as I’ve seen him.” (Star-Ledger):
I got the sense that Harvey did not do enough to earn the promotion. He sure as heck came out last night like gangbusters – hurling five no-hit innings to start the game. But two runs crossed the plate after that and his four walks and a hit-batter raised some concern that his command may need more work.
Before the game, I asked some of our writers if they thought Harvey should be promoted:
Mike Barrett – No, they shouldnt. After watching him and cutting up his highlights extensively, I just do not think he is ready for the big show. A promotion could mess with him mentally and set him back. September should be the earliest we see Harvey.
Fonzie13 – Yes they should promote Harvey if they feel he’s ready. He may need a little more seasoning to work on his changeup but right now he has two plus pitches which he has shown much better command of lately and I think he can get big league hitters out. He’s being asked to step in for the number five starter so he won’t have the added pressure of saving the franchise that a Steven Strasburg had with Washington. I’m not comparing him to Stras but you know what I mean. Plus he has the confidence and maturity to handle failure if he fails and has to go back down.
Joe Spector – I’m wary of it because of the recent history this team has had when it comes to rushing talent. Take Pelfrey, Mejia and even today’s team with Neiuwenhuis. Sometimes rolling the dice pays off some, case in point with Neiuwenhuis. Sometimes it blows up in your face. Harvey is at least in AAA and has had some exposure to the highest minor league talent. The rumblings about Wheeler being promoted as well, who’s still in AA, are just insane. I would listen to what Wally Backman has to say about Harvey and go from there but have ZERO expectations.
XtreemIcon – Not yet. He’s behind Hefner on my depth chart. Hefner’s pitched well, minus that one SD game, and we know there will be a couple of “SD games” for every rookie, including Harvey. So I’ll leave Harvey down for a few more starts until we see if Hefner can fill in. If not, then Harvey by August.
NYMets945 – While I have believed all year it is not time for Matt Harvey to come to the majors, I do believe if he excels Monday night for the Bisons, it is now time. Although Harvey will endure some bumps, he is a much better option than 41 year old Miguel Batista, Jeremy Hefner, and Chris Schwinden who have all struggled as starters thus far in 2012 for Mets. Harvey is currently 7-4 with 3.39 era with 102 K in 98.1 innings. While his WHIP is still a little high at 1.31 on the season, his K/9 is 9.34 which is down from HiA and AA but overall still good for a pitcher who struggled at the beginning of season. Harvey has pitched better as the months have past with 4.85 era in April, 3.26 in May, and 2.45 in June; July he currently is at 3.00 but has only one start.
Jim Mancari – Now is the time to promote Matt Harvey. Give the kid a chance. He’s bound to be better than Miguel Batista. The best way for these young pitchers to learn is to be thrown into the fire (given they have adequate minor league experience, which Harvey does). With Dillon Gee out, we’ll need another reliable arm down the stretch. Rather than trade Harvey to acquire a proven starting pitcher, the Mets can make an immediate investment in their future by promoting this guy.
Elliot Teichman – No. He could use some more starts and just because the Mets are in the thick of it this year doesn’t mean they should gamble the next few years.
Sean Kenny – Yes, the Mets should promote Matt Harvey right now based on the basics of baseball. If a better pitcher exists to start in the minors than the available options, which is the case as for Harvey as opposed to Batista or Hefner it should be done. Harvey may not be 100% in terms of his developmental scale, but Tim Lincecum was at a similar level when he came up to the big leagues. Tim rode an electric fastball and a hammer curve, with a decent changeup until he refined it all – at the MLB level. Harvey can only stand to learn how to get hitters out at the highest level of competition by facing them.