This was supposed to be the year, Matt Harvey returned to being a stud for the Mets.
During Spring Training, it seemed like he was building towards a productive season. Jumping off that, his first start of the season was an impressive effort against the Phillies. Since then, he has gotten progressively worse with the nadir of his season, perhaps his career, being the Braves scoring six earned against him over the course of the first three innings on Thursday.
The right-hander is at a crossroads and the team is unsure what the next step is with the former ace. On that front, our MMO staff has some suggestions on what the team should do with Harvey.
Logan Barer – Don’t Give Up
I think the Mets shouldn’t give up on Harvey so quickly. He had a good Spring and his first start of the year was solid. His subsequent three starts have been sup-par to say the least, but three starts should not be enough reason to act hastily. Harvey’s stuff is still good and watching his last two starts with Jose Lobaton behind the dish, they both look uncomfortable.
Give Harvey another start with Nido (or Realmuto) back there and if he implodes again, then I suggest moving him to the bullpen. I’d rather he work through his mechanical issues around the MLB coaching staff than in Double-or-Triple-A.
Michael Mayer – Not an MLB Starter Anymore
In an article published on MMO yesterday, Michael contemplated what to do with Harvey, who he considers to no longer be a Major League Caliber starting pitcher.
Rob Piersall – Bottom Line: Bullpen
The short answer is simple: Harvey needs to be bounced from the rotation.
Here’s the thing, I sympathize with the guy and am just as disappointed as anyone that Thoracic Outlet Syndrome derailed his career, but he’s just not a capable starter anymore.
Sure, the team can send him to Triple-A to see if he can figure it out down there, but at the end of the day, his stuff looks flat and predictable and his velocity diminishes after a couple frames.
The logical move is to transition him into a reliever and when Vargas comes back, have him slot into Harvey’s rotation spot.
Becoming a reliever can allow him to lay it all on the line for an inning or two and limit his number of pitches to be as effective as possible. It’s the move that needs to happen and is one that could benefit him greatly to help prolong his big league career
John Azzato – No Reason to Start Again
I think the Mets should definitely look for another option whether it is at Triple-A or if Jason Vargas is ready. Preferably, if Jason Vargas is ready I would make Harvey the odd man out, with Wheeler performing quite well. We all know there is no Harvey after this year, so there’s no reason to keep throwing him out there if it doesn’t benefit the team.
Ed Leyro – Vegas Baby
Matt Harvey should be sent down to Triple-A as soon as Jason Vargas is deemed healthy enough to pitch at the big league level. The Mets can look back at Steve Trachsel’s demotion in 2001 and how well he did after some minor league seasoning.
It also worked for Cliff Lee, who was sent down to the minors by Cleveland in 2007 for two months. He then responded by winning the Cy Young Award in 2008 and becoming one of the game’s most feared pitchers. No one is saying Harvey will become dominant again with a stint in the minors, but it should help clear his head without the pressure he’d feel at the major league level, where every pitch is subject to scrutiny.
Dilip Sridhar – Bullpen
Send Harvey to the bullpen. I can’t justify him being in the rotation anymore. Let him be in the bullpen, regain some velocity from there, and then re-consider the options. Everything and anything should be considered for Matt. It’s tough to say he will ever be a starter again but it’s worth checking based on how excited Dave Eiland was about Harvey in the off-season and spring.
John Sheridan – One Last Start
As I noted on Mets Daddy, some of the issues we are seeing with Harvey stem from both his seeming inability to click with Lobaton and with Lobaton’s poor pitch framing as compared to Travis d’Arnaud. Between that and Harvey retiring 11 of his last 12 batters, you have your excuse to give him just one more start, but that’s all you can give him at this point.
If after all you’ve invested in him, you are going to pull the plug on his Mets career, you need to be 100 percent sure you can’t reclaim his career. Even if you are 99 percent of the way there, allow that 1 percent to give him just one more start, but do it with Tomas Nido behind the plate because if you’re going to give him that start, you need to give him the best possible chance to succeed. Who knows? He may show you something, and we can get back to debating whether it is Steven Matz who Vargas should supplant in this rotation.
Did you find any of the opinions of our writers compelling? Do you have your own idea as to what the Mets should do with Harvey? We look forward to discussing those options with you in the comments section.