Right-hander Matt Harvey didn’t make it to the big leagues last year but is hoping for another shot, per Jon Heyman of The New York Post.
Harvey, turning 34 this month, didn’t make it into a major league game last year for the first time since 2014. He signed a minor league deal with the Orioles but was handed a 60-game suspension from Major League Baseball. Harvey testified in the trial of former Angels communications director Eric Kay. Harvey testified that he provided Tyler Skaggs with Percocet pills. Kay was convicted by a Fort Worth jury of distributing fentanyl that resulted in the death of Skaggs. Harvey was granted immunity from criminal prosecution for his testimony but was handed that suspension from MLB. After serving his suspension, he threw 70 1/3 innings in the minors last year, posting a 3.71 ERA.
Harvey underwent knee surgery towards the end of last year and hoped to make it back for 2023. It seems his rehab from that procedure went fine, as he recently suited up for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic. While returning to health was surely encouraging, he also posted good results, allowing just a single earned run in seven innings. He only record three strikeouts in that time but also issued just a single walk and allowed only four hits.
Harvey’s strikeout stuff has been on the decline for pretty much his whole career. He punched out 28.6% of hitters in his debut season and that swooned to the mid-teens in recent years. Though his fastball now sits in the 89-91 mph range, he believes he’s figured out how to work with that kind of stuff. “Obviously I’m not pumping mid-to-upper-90s anymore — at least not yet. Hopefully, the velo comes back. But if it doesn’t, I feel like I still know how to pitch and to get guys out,” Harvey said. “I’ve worked really hard on a different style of pitching. I feel good. Hopefully the stuff comes back. But I can still pitch. The game is still about getting people out.” He was especially proud of his control, saying that he “could have thrown it into a tea cup.”
Harvey had a really strong run earlier in his career but has been set back by various injuries. In 2015, he made 29 starts for the Mets with a 2.71 ERA in 189 1/3 innings. However, his ERA jumped to 4.86 the year after and he hasn’t been able to get it lower than that since. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2014, thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in 2016 and knee surgery last year.
It’s certainly been a…
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