Matt Harvey makes his return from the disabled list today. What can the Mets hope for from him in the last month of the season?
To say that Matt Harvey has had a rough go of it the last two seasons would be an understatement.
The right hander returns from the disabled list this afternoon against the Houston Astros, being out of action since mid June with a stress injury in his shoulder. Prior to that, Harvey had been terrible this year, pitching to an ERA of 5.25 in thirteen starts. His FIP sits at 6.17, indicating he’s been worse than that.
Perhaps the biggest question surrounding Harvey’s return is what his velocity will look like down the stretch? Harvey was topping out around 93 MPH during his rehab assignments, a tick below his average fastball velocity in the majors this season per Fangraphs.com.
It is a fair question to wonder whether or not what we have seen from Harvey this season is what he is now, or if we will ever see the return to Dark Knight status.
Coming back from Tommy John surgery is hard enough, but add thoracic outlet syndrome and a stress injury in the pitching shoulder, and many questions about the toll those injuries and rehab take arise.
With all that said, it is very important that Harvey is set to make five or six more starts before the season ends and face major league competition. There have been plenty of rumors throughout the season about teams inquiring about Harvey, or if the Mets will tender him a contract at season’s end.
It seems unlikely the Mets will let him walk or trade him for an insufficient return, making his return next year likely, and a part of the rotation in 2018, as the team hopes for a rebound in health and performance in his final season before free agency.
As stated above, 2016 and 2017 have been ones to forget for Harvey. Nobody knows if we will ever see the same guy who demanded the ball in Game 5 of the 2015 World Series again. Hopefully today marks a new beginning in Queens for him.