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Looks Like The Mets Messed Up The Harvey Decision

While the Mets are trying to pull out all the stops against a Marlins team actively trying to lose games, over in Cincinnati, it seems Matt Harvey is starting to put things together.

Over his last three starts, Harvey has been terrific pitching to a 1.47 ERA, 0.818 WHIP, and a 7.0 K/BB ratio.  Over these starts, opposing batters are hitting just .200/.257/.231 against the Dark Knight.  What makes these starts all the more impressive is when you consider they have come against the Cubs, Braves, and Brewers.

That’s three quality offensive opponents in games all started in hitter’s parks.

But it’s more than just the opponents and the results.  His velocity and control are back.  As already noted, Harvey is no longer walking batters, and apparently, he’s not leaving the ball in a position to be teed up by opposing batters:

According to Brooks Baseball, Harvey is back to throwing 95+ with a slider near 90.  Before getting traded to the Reds, Harvey was missing a tick or two on all of his pitches.  In some of his outings, he had nothing but guts out there.

As noted by C. Trent Rosencrans of The Athletic, Harvey says he is feeling better than at any time since 2013.  That’s notable because in 2013, he had Tommy John and in 2016 he was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

That could partially because the Mets never really let Harvey get back to full strength post TOS surgery.  It also could be because Harvey always believed he was getting better and getting there.  It just so happened that has actually proven true with the Reds.

Maybe the credit should go to Reds interim pitching coach Danny Darwin and an assistant pitching coach Ted Power.  The duo, especially Darwin, are beginning to get credit for helping turn not just Harvey around, but also what was once considered a bad Reds pitching staff.

That’s not a criticism of Mickey Callaway and Dave Eiland.  After all, the Mets duo has helped Jacob deGromreach another level in his game.  They have also seen Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz possibly turn the corner in their careers becoming more reliably and healthy starters.

What it is an indictment upon is the Mets patience and their ability to properly evaluate their own players.  After all, Harvey’s spot in the rotation was effectively taken over by Jason Vargas to be an effective starter this season.  Therein lies the problem.

To that point, here’s the series of transactions and moves the Mets made immediately after designating Harvey for assignment:

Since that time, the Mets have designated both Robles and Conlon for assignment.  We’ve also seen the Mets give chances to Buddy Baumann, Scott Copeland, and Chris Beck.  At a minimum, this is really bizarre roster management, and you have to question what the Mets saw in Baumann, Copeland, and Beck that they didn’t see in Harvey.

Even if you invoke all the Justin Turner non-tender defenses (wouldn’t happen here and the like), that doesn’t mean getting rid of Harvey was the right decision.

It’s not the right decision when you look at the pitchers who have made appearances and struggled in his stead.  It’s not he right decision when you consider the team miscalculated on whether Harvey had something left in the tank.  Really, they miscalculated on his being a disruption.

Since his being traded, the Mets are 14-30 (.318).  They just had a 5-21 month.  On the other hand, the Reds 26-19, and they were 15-11 in June.

Overall, both the Mets and Reds are sellers, and right now the key difference between them is as a result of the deal, the Mets will be looking for someone to take Devin Mesoracowhereas the Reds will have Harvey, who is suddenly a pitcher who is building up trade value.

In the end, it’s funny.  Harvey was partially traded to remove a distraction to help them win ballgames.  In fact, in pure Metsian fashion, the opposite happened.  They fell apart with his replacement in the rotation, Vargas, going 2-6 with an 8.60 ERA and a 1.832 WHIP.

10 thoughts on “Looks Like The Mets Messed Up The Harvey Decision”

  1. Luis says:

    I am glad Harvey is pitching well, but there has been only a small difference in his pitching with the Mets and now the Reds. He has benefitted from the Reds SUPERIOR defense, as he has given up some ROCKETS that have been run down by Hamilton and Duval..He HAS kept the ball out of the middle of the zone better, but his stuff is not really any better, and there is no way he would have made that improvement in NY..

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Let’s say you’re right.

      Is he still better than Vargas, Conlon, Baumann, Flexen, Oswalt, Beck, Blevins, etc

      That right there is the test

  2. OldBackstop says:

    First off, I really like Mesoraco. He is the first guy that looks like a catcher back there in a long time, and if we are going to have a pitching based contender, we have ignored that position. Hopefully he is sold on working with the system and stays here, which would he a big plus.
    Harvey:

    1. Unsignable for 2019. Boras plus a NY grudge. Chance he would be here: zero.point nothing.
    2. Harvey has strung together some nice games, no argument, but he has had run support of 6, 5 and 8. and only gone over 6.0 IP once since he went to Cin. (6.2),
    3. He was being a dick and malcontent, which you hate to have on any team.
    4. It could be he would not have popped back here, since he was a headcase and it’s the NY media who would never let go of all the old party stories, being late etc. And maybe if he was in NY he’d be partying with his established crowd ala Gooden/Straw
    5. He could break at any moment given the amount he has been able to answer the bell since 2013..
    6, Between the two major injuries and being a Boras guy and the behavior stuff, I doubt anyone will give up an impressive prospect for 14 starts or whatever.
    6a. The SP market will be crowded, especially if some Mets come on the market.
    7. Harvey doesn’t change our W/L…he can’t win without runs.
    8. If he is so great and a match we can sign him next year (0.0 chance) But we didn’t give away a guy with years of control.

    If the Reds get something for him, good for them. Highly unlikely it would have happened here, and we owe them one anyway for that deadarm kid Dilson.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Since his hot start, from May 29th to today, Mesoraco is hitting .197/.290/.279. He’s also been the Mets worst pitch framer. Honestly, I don’t get the love for him.

      As for Harvey, he’s a better trade deadline asset than Mesorasco, especially if he’s turned things around.

      As for Dilson Herrera, he’s healthy again, and he’s hitting .299/.369/.471 in Triple-A. I’m pretty sure the Mets don’t have to do anything to make up for that.

  3. Gothamist says:

    First off, the Mets will finish dead last in the NL
    Why not accept the #1 pick?
    They just signed the #14 international pick, why not a #1?
    Why can’t a pitcher be a prick?
    If Harvey comes back in 2019 would it have anything to do with he and the other starters bonding? Is entitlement fuel for expecting to win?
    Return for unfinished business?
    That Alderson is gone?
    The catcher we received, I will be surprised if he hits .240 or drives in key runs.
    It is amazing how few RBIs Plawecki has in comparison?
    Mets clubhouse has Travis and Wright at every game…
    The Mets 11-1 start seemed like they were headed to exhaustion and though it was unsustainable I still wanted to believe. Call used the pen like the NLCS.
    Yet at the Washington home game with the dreadful finish the Mets could hear the ongoing celebration in the Nats dugout, I was right behind the Met dugout row 15 on aisle of Delta…

    That loss was the worst loss..I ever experienced.

    What if Ramos did not have a shot Labrum…?
    They would have won..?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I’m not sure what you’re driving at here, especially with Ramos

  4. Five Tool Ownership says:

    I do not know how with the track records of Matz, Noah, Wheeler, Harvey’s injury and de Grom having off year injuries, Familia regressing, Robles, Blevins not with heat nor a strong 2017 how they saw themselves as. contender.

    The result if Harvey continues his ascent has to squarely fall on the Mgr and Pitching coach.

    Did they rule out his recovery of strength and see the need to learn how to pitch better or did they not see his strength improvement?

    I blame the entire team the four including Sandy, the lack of testing of Harvey’s muscleclature falls on Katz Wilpons.

    They need a Kasten, Shapiro, Friedman or Epstein to take over, have complete autonomy and clean house!

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Harvey is to blame on a front office and ownership who unnecessarily rushed him in previous seasons and lost patience this year

  5. Keith says:

    Harvey was a cancer in the clubhouse and a malcontent who was constantly butting heads with anyone who tried to help him. The results he had over the last 2 years before the trade speak for themselves. He was no longer the fireballing force he once was but seemed unable to adjust. Sometimes it seemed like he was out there not even trying and wanting to get shelled. All well and good to try to blame others and second-guess the trade and blame others but he had to go.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Pretty sure the results were related to the injuries, and considering how the Mets tanked after the left, maybe he wasn’t the malcontent and disruptive figure he was portrayed to be.

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