Mets manager Mickey Callaway announced Saturday that Matt Harvey will be moved to the bullpen following a rough outing Thursday night and a generally uneven start to the 2018 season. The writing was on the wall Thursday, when Callaway said he couldn’t commit to giving Harvey another turn in the rotation. Harvey initially pushed back at the suggestion that he be used as a reliever, but seems to be handling this news in stride:
“On a scale of 1 to 10, I obviously am at a 10 with being pissed off. You know, my performance hasn’t been there, and I have to do whatever I have to do to get back into the starting rotation. Right now it’s go to the bullpen, work on some things, get things back to where I need to be. I think it’s just kind of breaking through the stuff that I’ve talked about. I think those last three innings the other day I felt like it clicked, and I think just being able to go out there and continuously do that, and have it work, is gonna be the most important thing. Right now, helping the team, the best thing that I can do is go to the bullpen, get my stuff ready, and ultimately get back into the rotation and be where I know I can be, and can best help this team, and I think that’s as a starter.”
Harvey’s season started off with a win over the Phillies in which he allowed just one hit and one walk over five innings, but it’s gone south since then: he’s allowed at least eight hits and at least four runs in each of his last three outings, and his 1.429 WHIP is the worst among all Mets pitchers. Harvey will be replaced in the rotation by Jason Vargas, who is recovering from a broken bone in his non-throwing hand and should be available to pitch later this week.