Is Matt Harvey starting to reluctantly accept bullpen demotion?
On Friday night, Matt Harvey made his second bullpen appearance against the San Diego Padres after being demoted from the New York Mets’ starting rotation.
Harvey pitched one inning to close out the game and allowed a home run and walked a batter before shutting the door on a Mets’ 5-1 victory. Harvey after the game addressed the media for the first time after becoming angry over the notion of dropping to a bullpen role.
In fact, Harvey became downright hostile once the demotion came to fruition.
It would seem, though, that Harvey is at least in the beginning stages of acceptance, albeit reluctantly.
“If I’m going to be down there I want to be effective and be used in tight situations and hopefully we can get to that point,” Harvey said, via MLB.com. “There’s preparation work that needs to be done in order for me to be fully prepared and into the game and I wasn’t tonight. It’s a learning process and I’m just trying to do everything I can.”
Harvey has had a rough go of it over the past handful of seasons, struggling with injuries and getting knocked around when he was healthy. Harvey registered a 4.87 ERA in 2016, a 6.70 ERA in 2017, and now a 6.00 ERA so far in 2018.
Harvey has been a dominating starting pitcher for most of his career. He didn’t earn the nickname “The Dark Knight” for nothing. However, embracing this bullpen role could do wonders for his future if he can get into a groove.
“Obviously I have to do a little bit more throughout the game to make sure I’m ready,” Harvey said. “I’m just getting used to the preparation by going down there and seeing how the guys get ready. I’m trying to learn from them and pick up little things that may help me get loose.”
Former starters like Wade Davis, Dellin Betances, Zach Britton and Jonathan Papelbon all encountered severe struggles as a starting pitchers. Once they shifted to — and accepted — a bullpen role, they turned the corner on their careers and became valuable assets to winning ball clubs.