New York Mets

New York Mets ace Matt Harvey has struggled at the outset of the 2016 MLB season, prompting a debate over his future in the big leagues.

Matt Harvey needed to do things his way: face adversity head-on.

Coming off the worst start of his career, Harvey was given the option of skipping his start Tuesday against the Washington Nationals.

He declined.

What ensued was the sluggish deterioration of a man once dubbed the “Dark Knight” by the Flushing faithful. Harvey ultimately surrendered a quintet of runs over the same number of innings pitched.

It wasn’t the number of runs that was alarming, rather, it were the recurring themes that materialized during Tuesday night’s loss: a drop in velocity, movement and mid-inning success.

While alternate theories have been floating around pertaining to why Harvey has struggled, one thing is for certain: his struggles are real.

Let me say that again. Harvey’s well-documented struggles aren’t a short-term problem. They’re a real long-term dilemma, one that isn’t going to be solved by Harvey continuing to pitch in the big leagues.

It’s time for the Dark Knight to clear his head. Whether this means spending some time performing non-baseball activities in Hawaii or regaining his confidence and composure in the minor leagues, something has to be done.

Allow me to elaborate. As Gary Cohen and Ron Darling aptly stated during Tuesday night’s matchup with the Mets’ division rivals, players such as Steve Trachsel (nicknamed the “Human Rain Delay”) returned from short stints in the minors better than ever.

Harvey needs to work on the problem — whether it is mental, physical or mechanical — in a different setting; one that permits the big league club to salvage their ace’s season.

If that isn’t an option, then a brief vacation could potentially serve him good. From a psychological standpoint, diverting one’s mind from the arduous task at hand is usually effective.

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Justin Weiss is a staff editor at Elite Sports New York, where he covers the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Cyclones. In 2016, he received a Quill Award for Freelance Journalism. He has written for the Long Island Herald, FanSided and YardBarker.