New York Mets: Matt Harvey’s season could get uglier on and off the field

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14: Matt Harvey
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14: Matt Harvey /

The 2018 season is going great for the New York Mets. However, what they do with Matt Harvey could turn ugly.

Through three starts, New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey looks more and more like the odd-man out once Jason Vargas returns. Now with a 0-1 record and 4.80 ERA, the chances of Harvey winning Comeback Player of the Year look far less likely.

Harvey had a great debut against the Philadelphia Phillies before two less stellar outings to take away from the strong open.

Although he is striking out batters at nearly one per inning, opponents are still hitting .290 against the Dark Knight. Needless to say, it’s a bad look for Harvey after a horrific 2017 season.

The Mets are in a bit of a bind once Jason Vargas returns from the disabled list. A great problem to have, this team has far too many starting pitchers. The issue they face is telling one of those arms they will no longer belong in the rotation.

Zack Wheeler can help the Mets out by pitching poorly until Vargas comes back. Steven Matz can do the same, too. Each is an option to receive a demotion. Unless they actually deserve it, punishing them for overbooking the starting staff is unfair to everyone.

How things get ugly on and off the field

Harvey’s start on Saturday against the Milwaukee Brewers ended the Mets’ amazing winning streak. Home runs off the bats of Jonathan Villar and Jett Bandy crushed his night and the Mets’ chance of continuing their run.

It wasn’t a bad start, but it wasn’t very pretty either. It was the kind of night only a fifth starter could feel proud of. This is Harvey we’re talking about, though. We expect a little more from him.

Whether they act on Harvey’s struggles or not, things are going to get ugly with Harvey. The fans will turn on him the longer he pitches poorly. Eventually, the Mets may be forced to pull him from the starting rotation and hand his job over to more deserving players.

Based on what we know about Harvey’s personality, he’s not going to take any kind of demotion lightly. He’s in the final year before free agency, so pitching well is important to him. A move to the bullpen won’t help his case in landing a big contract.

Getting paid is important to Harvey and his agent, Scott Boras. They won’t go down without a fight.

Next: J.T. Realmuto will not play for the Mets in 2018

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Three starts are hardly enough to know exactly what Harvey can offer the Mets. It’s the fact that he has been bad for two straight years which makes it far more possible. Harvey needed to start off this year pitching fantastic on a regular basis. He hasn’t done so and unless he does, expect plenty of noise from Harvey, his agent, and the fans who want the Mets to do something about it.