Former Mets ace Matt Harveywho has reinvented himself and excelled while pitching for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic, is hoping to return to the majors.
“I definitely worked as hard as I can to be in that position,” Harvey told Jon Heyman of The New York Post. “Hopefully someone gives me a chance.”
I wrote earlier this week that the Mets should consider giving Harvey — who has reinvented himself on the mound — a minor league deal.
In two starts for Italy, Harvey had a 1.29 ERA over 7.0 innings, allowing four hits, walking just one, and striking out three. Something that was obvious is that he is a much different pitcher than he was in 2021 with the Baltimore Orioles — the last time he pitched in the majors.
In 2021, Harvey’s average four-seam fastball was 93.6 mph after averaging 94.5 mph in 2020 with the Kansas City Royals and 93.2 mph in 2019 for the Los Angeles Angels. When Harvey was at his best (in 2013 and 2015 with the Mets) his fastball was ordinarily around 97 mph.
“Obviously I’m not pumping mid-to-upper-90s anymore — at least not yet,” Harvey told The Post. “Hopefully, the velo comes back. But if it doesn’t, I feel like I still know how to pitch and to get guys out. 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.”
Added Harvey about his command in the WBC:
“I could have thrown it into a tea cup.”
There aren’t many Mets players still on the team who were there during Harvey’s tenure, which ended during the middle of 2018. One who is there is Brandon Nimmowho spoke with SNY about Harvey earlier this week.
“I didn’t get to have much of a relationship with him. When I came up he was kind of on his way out,” Nimmo told SNY contributor John Harper. “But I know how hard this game is, and I don’t like seeing people not do well. He was obviously on top of the world and kind of fell off it. I wish him the best of luck and I hope this Italy thing kick-starts something for him. That’d be awesome.”