"I think there's a lot to still prove, but I believe that I took a step in the right direction", Harvey said, per MLB.com. With Jason Vargas set to return from the DL within the next week, someone in New York's rotation had to be the odd man out. At the time, Harvey was a little less than three years removed from Tommy John surgery. NY would advance and Harvey would start Game 1 of the National League Championship Series against the up and coming Chicago Cubs team and would not disappoint. With the process working for the both of them, Callaway is more than confident innings out of the bullpen will work for Harvey as well. The Mets are leading an NL East that's much deeper than it was a year ago, and Harvey is getting hit around (40.0 percent hard-hit rate entering Thursday, per Fangraphs) as he struggles to pitch with diminished velocity. He's given up 26 hits, four of them home runs, in 21 innings. "We think at this time, given what we've seen from Matt and the state of the starting rotation, this is a move that the time is right to make".
It's bad enough when the manager will not make such a commitment, but the Mets pitching coach, Dave Eiland, made comments after the game suggesting the possibility of the Mets putting Harvey in the bullpen.
Really, though, the Mets should be thrilled if Harvey can work his way back to being even league-average, a neighborhood in which he has never resided. "My performance hasn't been there and I just have to do whatever I have to do to get back to the starting rotation".
However, maybe Harvey moving to the bullpen is a blessing in disguise for the former MLB All-Star. "Everybody uses tons of starters; 11 was the average past year for every team", he said. "I have to suck it up and go out there and do everything I can to get things back in gear". The rest of September continued to be mired with inconsistency and Harvey finished the season 5-7 with a 6.70 ERA.
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