Montero and Harvey’s professional careers have been polar opposites to this point. Matt has enjoyed immediate success, while Montero’s career has been an uphill climb. However, Viola sees some similarities between the two starting pitchers.
“He’s just pounding the strike zone again,” Viola said of the difference in Montero’s performance. “He was picking at the corners and nibbling and, like with Matt, that’s not who he is.”
Montero, who was recently named the PCL Pitcher of the Week after back-to-back scoreless outings, still has work to do.
“He’s not where we’ve seen him before,” Viola said. “For him to need 90 pitches to get through five innings, something’s still not right. But he’s establishing his fastball and he’s a good learner, so we’ll get him back.”
Viola added that he is not too worried about Matt Harvey, and that he expects him to return to his old self in the near future. The most important thing for Matt’s success is his health and his confidence. This is simply a learning curve that Matt will pull himself out of in the near future.
“Every pitcher goes through a period where they doubt there stuff, so I don’t think it’s a big deal,” Viola said. “It’s a short term thing. He’s healthy, so he’ll be fine. He just needs one outing where he puts it all together.”
As far as Matt Harvey is concerned, he is not only a talented starter, but he is also a cerebral pitcher. He simply knows how to get guys out without throwing too many pitches. His ability to throw strikes on the inside and outside corners consistently have made him a phenomenal starter.
However, this season has been a different narrative for Harvey since his command has been uncharacteristically erratic. Harvey has never really experienced a slump like he has now, but he is only 27 years old with his best baseball in front of him.
It is nice to see that Viola has confidence in Montero. Once Montero can figure out a way to locate his pitches consistently, he will become a viable asset for the big league team. Hopefully his last two starts suggest that he’s almost there.