Meet Matt Harvey, the New York Mets new relief pitcher.
No, this is not a misprint. The New York Mets have decided to take the former starting pitcher, who has been struggling on the mound, and add him to the bullpen rotation. Per Anthony DiComo, The Mets allowed Matt Harvey to state his case, but in the end, there was no changing their minds. Nothing Harvey could say would sway the Mets from demoting him from the rotation to the bullpen, a move the team announced before Saturday’s game against the Braves.
The New York Mets are atop the National League East.
“On a scale of 1 to 10, obviously I’m at a 10 with being pissed off,” Harvey said, clarifying that he’s angry both at the Mets and at himself. “My performance hasn’t been there, and I just have to do whatever I have to do to get back in the starting rotation. Right now, that’s go to the bullpen and work on some things, get things back to where I need to be.”
After being drafted in the third round of the 2007 MLB draft by the Los Angeles Angels, he was drafted again in the 2010 MLB draft by the Mets as the seventh overall pick. In his major league debut on July 26, 2012, against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Harvey set a new club record with 11 strikeouts while earning his first career victory.
With the changes in the staff this season and the other pitchers in the rotation, Harvey’s status came into question when, after the right-hander allowed six runs in six innings on Thursday in Atlanta, manager Mickey Callaway declined to guarantee him another start.
The writing was already on the wall.
DiComo added with Jason Vargas set to come off the disabled list next Saturday in San Diego, the Mets needed to shift someone out of the rotation. Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz, Callaway indicated, have both pitched well enough to stay.
The Mets had two decisions. They could have demoted Harvey, which he could have refused, or they could have put him in the bullpen. The team chose the latter, hoping Matt Harvey can regain his form.
“I want to make it clear: This is less about making Matt a reliever and more about getting him back to being a productive starter,” assistant general manager John Ricco said. “Honestly, one of the reasons we brought in Mickey and [pitching coach] Dave Eiland were for their knowledge and expertise in this area. We have a lot of faith and confidence in what they’re able to do.”