By Zach Gewelb
Matt Harvey has been in the spotlight since making his dynamic debut in 2012. He’s had his ups and downs since then, but it’s become clear this season that the Dark Knight’s time in Queens may be coming to an end.
Harvey was absolutely clobbered in his last start Monday night against the Miami Marlins, surrendering seven earned runs on 12 hits and two walks over four-plus innings in a 13-1 loss. Harvey’s ERA has now risen to 13.19 since he returned from the disabled list and sits at 6.59 for the season.
His ineffectiveness and durability issues have set the table for Harvey’s eventual departure from the Mets following the season. He still has one more season before he’s eligible to become a free agent, but it would be silly for the Mets to tender him a contract after everything that’s transpired the last two seasons.
Harvey has made 34 starts since the start of the 2016 campaign and posted a 5.39 ERA in 187-plus innings pitched. That’s a far cry from the 2.53 ERA he posted in 427 innings pitched between 2012-2015. It’s obvious he’s no longer the same pitcher anymore. That, coupled with his off-the-field antics, makes it an easy call for the Mets to move on at the end of the season.
Harvey has been a fixture in the tabloids since bursting onto the scene five years ago, for better or for worse. His social life has been well-chronicled, his relationships and break-ups have been a topic of conversation, and then there’s the time he failed to show up at Citi Field on a game day without notifying the Mets.
All this adds up to a team that needs to move on and a pitcher who desparately needs a change of scenery. That’s not to say Harvey is permanently broken and that the Mets should just cut him loose. Maybe there’s a trade out there to be made. Harvey’s career numbers are still comparable to those of a top-of-the-rotation pitcher. In a sport where pitching is the greatest currency, a team will want to assume the risk and bring him on board with the hope that he will step up his game in a contract year.
But any interested team has to have seen what the Mets have seen this year and if the Mets are truly ready to move on, clubs may just wait until Harvey is cut before making a move.
It wasn’t too long ago that Harvey was one of the most feared pitchers in baseball. Now, he needs to relocate if he wants to resurrect his career.
It was fun while it lasted, but it’s time to say goodbye to Matt Harvey.
Reach reporter Zach Gewelb by e-mail at zgewe