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Bring Matt Harvey Home

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim who used to be of California first designated Matt Harvey for assignment and then later released him. This marked the second time Harvey was designated for assignment in as many years.

Looking at the numbers, you can’t blame the Angels. In 12 starts, he was 3-5 with a 7.09 ERA, 1.542 WHIP, 4.4 BB/9, and a 5.9 K/9. This isn’t the Harvey we all knew from 2012-2015, and it’s not even the Harvey of last year. TOS will do that to you.

The question now is what if anything Harvey has left?

If you want to be positive, he performed reasonably well with the Reds last year. In 24 starts, he was 7-7 with a 4.50 ERA, 1.250 WHIP, 2.0 BB/9, and a 7.8 K/9.

Looking deeper at last year, he was a different pitcher. According to Brooks Baseball, he threw his fastball 58.35%, his change 11.82%, his slider 23.44%, and his curve 6.00%. This year, we have seen him throw his fastball less and his curve much more.

In fact, his fastball usage is down 13.73% and his curve is up 8.81%. His change and slider usage is relatively the same. On the surface you understand the change with Baseball Savant noting Harvey having a slightly better than average spin on his curve and Fangraphs noting his fastball velocity is down.

Whatever the case, the mix isn’t quite right. For that matter, neither has Harvey. Maybe, he will never be right.

That said, when you’re a team nine games under .500 and continue to dwindle from the limelight, it would make sense to give Harvey another look.

First off, the Mets are currently sending out pitchers like Chris Mazza, Jacob Rhame, Stephen Nogosek, Tyler Bashlor, and a number of other similarly talented pitchers to come out of the bullpen. Looking at it from the Mets perspective, aren’t you better off getting a look at Harvey out of the bullpen to see if you can rekindle something in Harvey? Maybe with Harvey focusing on an inning or two, he can feel more comfortable letting it loose instead of trying to hold something back for later in the game.

With the Mets possibly moving Zack Wheeler and/or Jason Vargas at the trade deadline, the team will need another starter. You could go with Walker Lockett and/or Corey Oswalt (presuming Anthony Kay isn’t ready). You could also see if Harvey could perform better after arguably being “humbled” after leaving.

It’s also possible he will feel more at home with Phil Regan as the pitching coach. Maybe being around friends and teammates like Jacob deGrom can help him rediscover something or find a way to be good again.

As the season progresses, the Mets look all the more like a team playing out the string. In those situations, teams have to make judgment calls, and if teams are properly run, they’re not just going to lose as many games as possible to improve a draft position. Ideally, they’ll try to lose with a purpose.

If the Mets pitch Harvey, either in the bullpen or rotation, they’re losing with a purpose. They’re going to see if they can get him to be an effective pitcher again. Really, if you can get him to pitch out of the bullpen, all the better because with his issues, that may be the best place for him.

Better for the Mets to see if they can get him to be a quality reliever and help a bullpen in need of a few arms than to cycle back through the relievers they’ve seen fail time and again.

Overall, if the Mets are going to lose, they should learn something. It also wouldn’t hurt them to be a little more interesting. If anything, the Wilpons and Brodie Van Wagenen will have a lightning rod to take the attention away from them. Taking all into account, the Mets should just take the flyer on Harvey. After all, there is no possible way things can get worse with him here.

29 thoughts on “Bring Matt Harvey Home”

  1. Luis Venitucci says:

    No no no no no!!!

  2. Pal88 says:

    Nuts !
    Maybe a minor league deal, with no promises

    1. metsdaddy says:

      He’s only going to get the league minimum.

      1. Jeff’s Weaver says:

        Harvey will get a guaranteed $11m for 2019.
        My gut, is that the salary he gets if he joins another club is not even a thought.

        1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

          @Jeff’s —–Seems very likely. If Harvey is typical for a Boras client he’ll go now to the team most likely to let him build his value for 2020.

  3. Barry says:

    Harvey’s refusal to go to the minors and eventually to the bullpen was why he was let go.
    When Harvey was looking for a deal after last season he said something to the effect of: he “would be open to going to any team except one. Can you guess which one?” Clearly, he meant the Mets.
    I can’t see either side wanting to do this again.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Things have changed since then including his being DFA’d and the Mets naming Regan as the PC

    2. Tar Heel Tutor says:

      It was mainly a fundamental difference of opinion.
      Callaway and Eiland wanted him to go off speed.
      They wanted him to work on those daily.

      1. metsdaddy says:

        It seemed as if Eiland and Harvey were like oil and water.

        1. Jeff’s Weaver says:

          Eland’s staff was amazing against the Mets in the Classic.
          I never saw such incredible preciseness off the provide visual strike e frame.
          Combine that for fourteen months Harvey has not listened to anyone, his innate stubbornness, a good trait most times, can not give me evidence at all, now, that Eiland was an issue.

          If a pitching staff that has not won consistently, nor come close to dominating a World Series revolts against an Eiland, Eiland whose staffs have won two ….. then we have a Tom Coughlin parallel.

          If Coughlin was coaching Jax and a Drew Bledsoe bitched about the 2x Super Bowl winning coach to the GM ……?

          Why Eiland was canned?

          The new baseball?
          The Familia dud contract?
          A scapegoat for the injured pen?
          Diaz as a disaster with no grip on ball for slider?
          For someone had to go and was untouchable.

  4. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    Why not. The Mets should be cycling through every reliever and especially every starter (given the chances are better of finding a good reliever hiding in a failed starter than they are finding a good reliever in a failed reliever) other teams are dumping in order to try to build a bullpen and bullpen depth for 2020.

    Let’s face it-they aren’t likely to contend in 2020 (no big additions, so the current team is pretty much the team they’ll be going to war with), but they have no chance of contending in 2021 and 2022 after the inevitable trading off of players like Conforto whose salaries are maturing or who are going to FA. The 2020 Mets will need to get extremely lucky with scrap heap relievers (and probably at least one starter) if they want to have any chance at all of contending, so if after talking with Harvey it’s clear he’s willing to accept a modest relief role in the minors with no promises, then give him a good look.

    1. Gothamist says:

      I am pulling for Harvey!!!

      This will be completely engineered by Boros.
      First he reads Harvey the riot act, if not for the third time.
      If Harvey does not accept the truth, the reality that he must reinvent himself …
      even Boros will tell Harvey to sleep on it until he is ready.
      Harvey will need privacy, support and will initially do it near Boros or at Boros’s facility.
      I believe Harvey will go anywhere but back to the West Village, NYC temptations. He might be in the Hamptons this weekend. Who knows?
      Who is the Harvey of 2019, on a personal level.
      How does he see himself, to be out there around others.
      He did give up like 50 runs in 62 innings?

      There are models in California also…

      How the fvck would I know what Harvey is thinking: about retiring, NYC, the Mets or otherwise….!!!!

      1. metsdaddy says:

        I can’t imagine what is going through Harvey’s mind right now.

        1. OldBackstop says:

          Probably “well, I made 11 million bucks for half a season of throwing batting practice this year…”

      2. Saul’s Colorist says:

        Yes, lets us get some evidence.
        I prefer speculation that does not just seem to sound realistic and creditable but actually is credible.

        Hey I want to be back in Junior High, going to the games with friends and then I just believed anything could happen.

        This especially about a 14 month period Harvey has had, after the second “rehab”, after the second surgery.
        I do like reading when those who write say what they hope or wish for, what they know now, how it may connect, what might be a future clue if it can come to fruition.

    2. metsdaddy says:

      Well said

  5. OldBackstop says:

    rofl…..he was good ridden, out of town on a rail. This is the dumbest idea you’ve expressed since…..

    ….no, this is the dumbest..

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Enjoy Chris Mazza

      1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

        It’s extraordinary, to look at BBRef’s section on Mets’ pitching–only deGrom and Lugo have respectable FIPs and ERAs.
        Justin Wilson has gotten lucky in 15 innings, w a good ERA but a very poor FIP. As for Sewald, his ERA+ is a decent 112, but his FIP is 5.22.

        And that’s it. The Mets have 4 pitchers with above average ERA+, and two of them are there by luck, with only 15 and 7 innings to their credit.

        So, that’s it. 2 pitchers pitching well and getting good results OUT OF TWENTY-SIX (26).

        Last season was similar. In addition to Lugo and Familia, only Drew Smith and Zamora (who combined for a meager 37 innings) were any good out of the pen, and as starters, even occasional starters, only deGrom, Syndergaard, and Wheeler were any good. That’s 7 pitchers out of 30.

        It may not be a popular pov but I’m going to put a lot of this on Callaway–enough to warrant his firing, certainly. He’s a pitching coach who as manager of the Mets has had 56 pitching seasons to work his magic with, and he’s only been able to persuade his pitchers to pitch well and do well in 9 of those seasons. Does any manager have a worse record, particularly given the live arms he has had to work with? I doubt it.

        Somehow his guys not only fail, but fail badly. The FIPs and ERAs his players end up with are ungodly awful. It’s not just that his pitchers don’t succeed–it’s that they bomb, with ERAs above 5.00, 6.00, 7.00. In 2018 the majority (17 of 30) of his staff had FIPs above 5.00. It’s the same this year: 15/26.

        And it’s not that I expect greatness off the scrap heap or from organizational soldiers, but as a marginal contender you survive by squeezing out a win here and there. Collect enough marginal wins and suddenly you’re in the race. That means getting ERAs of 4.00, 4.25, 4.50 out of your fringy relievers. These are the AAAA guys, replacement level guys, who you need to come into games twice a week, throw 15 to 20 pitches, and keep the game from getting out of control. Mickey Callaway has shown a consist inability to even come *close* to doing that. Need an extravagant comparison? Imagine Earl Weaver letting his bullpen throw like this. Imagine Whitey Herzog sitting with his thumb up his something while Noah Syndergaard threw fat sliders for the first 2 months of the season.

        These Mets? 16 out of 21 relievers have ERAs above 4.90. 17 of 21 have FIPs over 4.80.

        THIS is something Callaway has control over. He also had input during the offseason. When it comes to the thousands of pitchers in the world and the hundreds of milb pitchers with replacement level potential, Callaway would have had the FO’s ear. What we’re seeing is both his contribution, and his (in)ability to teach. This isn’t bad luck, it’s ineptitude, and it’s not all on van Wagenen. This portion is on Callaway. Enough of it to fairly deem his tenure a failure, and move on.

        1. Jeff’s Weaver says:

          @Blair I defer to you.

          However:

          If they dumped Swarzak’s $7m+ how many replacement plus relievers would come for fou4 or less?
          What factor is the new baseball?
          Jake had to be ready to return to earth for at least a month?
          Noah has a FB with no movement?
          A comment said that if Zach pitched one less inning on average, late long balls, far less ERA, his FIB would be top #12 in the entire MLB ….. now Wheeler is #26 best FIB in all of MLB.

          They had Paul Sewald in relief ….
          They had crap relievers in June….
          They gave Familia $30m!

          1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

            @Hey Jeff’s —–AAAA-caliber pitchers are mostly gotten through scouting. It’s good to have the extra 100k to send their way to get a guy you really want, and occasionally you read about a 750k minor league deal, but since for the most part you don’t pay them unless you bring them to the MLB club, for most teams salaries and deals at that level aren’t a limiting factor–it’s much more a problem or question of scouting and finding room for them.

            You also have the logistical issues of options, and juggling these players on the 40-man roster, or fitting them in to AAA and AA… but the Mets have to reserve almost no room in AAA and AA for talented young players at this point, so they’re free to stock those rosters with replacement players for their major league team. You’d have to go hog wild just to spend an extra 3 million to get these kinds of players into your system. Most would be glad just to make a roster or get into an organization and get health care. If you spent as much as 5m in an offseason on this kind of player you’d be getting a half dozen guys who need 800k or 1m to secure their services, and those are the guys you actually expect a little something from, so they probably don’t fall into my category of “pitchers who aren’t good, but are so bad they kill you.”

            Tim Collins of Chicago must have an interesting story in that regard. I think he’s pitched a respectable 7 or 8 innings this year. The Twins signed him in FA this spring after the Nats let him go. The Twins didn’t like what they saw and dropped him a week before the season, paying him 100k, then the Cubs picked him up and I think he had the kind of deal that doesn’t pay much more than a minor league salary unless he gets the call to the majors, which he did, which triggered either his 850k pro rated MLB salary (instead of the pro rated 555k minimum) or gave him 850k outright (I’m guessing the latter).

            Either way, players like Collins are very inexpensive to keep around, since with most of them you don’t pay them more than a minor league salary until and unless you need them in the majors.

            —–How they thought Familia should be their main FA reliever when they had 30m to spend… … love to have heard the organizational thought process behind that one!

          2. metsdaddy says:

            The Familia deal made a lot of sense. He’s a guy who has showed the ability to pitch in pressure situations in New York, and he was coming to the Mets at a relative discount.

          3. Blair M. Schirmer says:

            Oof. That should read, “…but AREN’T so bad they kill you.”

  6. OldBackstop says:

    Harbey since 2016: a 5.65 ERA and a 1.468 WHiP,

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Enjoy Chris Mazza

  7. OldBackstop says:

    What, are we going to hear “Enjoy Chris Mazza” all summer now, like it is a binary choice between him and a guy who left here is disgrace and has stunk ever since?

    If we are giving up on the season, you start youngsters. You don’t bring back a clubhouse cancer who badmouthed the team on the way out the door.

    I’m tired of the Mets acting like a circus acts, bringing back retreads who they think my fill some seats. Reyes, Carlos Gomez, Familia, it is like their ticket sales team makes these decisions.

    Harvey is not only lousy, he is a jerk who said we were the only team he didn’t want to come to.

    Gawd. Stupidity…..

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Yes, when you don’t want Harvey or see him as an upgrade, it means you want more Mazza.

  8. Enna Smith says:

    You’re forgetting how disruptive he was with his off field behavior when he was with the Mets. He was coked up half the time and many of his teammates couldn’t stand him, including David Wright. When they moved him to the pen he was terrible and didn’t want to be there. Harvey has no gas left in the tank. He’s done. The idea of bringing him back is very sentimental but there’s no way he can help the team. Too bad, it’s really very sad.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      He was so disruptive the Mets had their best stretch as a team in Citi Field with him on the roster.

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