The New York Mets are off to a stellar start in the 2018 Major League Baseball season. As of Saturday morning, April 21, they had a 14-5 record and were in sole possession of first place in the National League East. Despite feelings that the Washington Nationals were going to run away with the division title, the Mets have instead controlled the top spot.
A 3-4 record in their last seven games came immediately after a nine-game winning streak. As New York sees its opponents creep up from behind, the talking point for this squad has been starting pitcher Matt Harvey, the former Dark Knight of New York.
It has been years since Harvey was elite and healthy enough to earn that moniker. His 2018 year, though, did get off to a nice start. He threw five shutout innings in his first start of the season. That has been followed up by three horrendous outings. Harvey has yet to throw more than six innings in any start. In the past three, he has allowed at least four earned runs each game, serving up four total home runs during the stretch. Though he isn’t giving out free passes, opponents are knocking him around regardless, to the tune of 25 hits in three games. With those struggles have come inklings that he may not be long for the rotation.
Mets manager Mickey Callaway did little to dispel those rumors this weekend. When asked about Harvey’s future in the starting rotation Callaway discussed Harvey’s public desire to start and how any move to another role would be better with buy-in from the player. He then stamped those comments by saying, “there’s been more talks [about Harvey’s future, and the Mets are] still not exactly sure what route we’ll go.”
That is hardly a ringing endorsement from one’s manager, but the hesitancy is understandable. New York’s pitching is what carries it to success. With Jason Vargas set to come off the disabled list relatively soon and Zack Wheeler faring well in his chances, there exists the opportunity to remove the worst performing member of the rotation. At this point, that person is clearly Harvey, though Callaway and company will have to decide what best serves the club and who would be best suited for that role change to the bullpen.