Nov 1, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) reacts after striking out the side in the fourth inning in game five of the World Series against the Kansas City Royals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Harvey — Three of a Kind

MLB.com lists Matt Harvey as the Mets number three starter, so that’s where we’ll list him here. In reality, Terry Collins may choose to separate his three righties with southpaw Steven Matz when the season begins, thus pushing Harvey down to number four.

For those that don’t remember, Matt Harvey was one of the best pitchers in baseball in 2013 and 2015. In both those years, he had sub 2.75 ERA and struck out more than a batter per inning. Those are ace numbers. Having a healthy Harvey back full time as part of the rotation in 2017, whether as the three or four starter, will be vital to the Mets success.

The man Sports Illustrated once nicknamed the Dark Knight of Gotham, last pitched for the Mets on Jul. 4, 2016. At the time, he was not having a superhero year. Harvey was 4-10 and was carrying a pedestrian 4.86 ERA and 1.47 WHIP into the start. He pitched only 3.2 innings and left with, what he called, a “dead arm.”

Days later it was announced that Harvey had elected to have surgery to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome between his neck and shoulder. He would go on to miss the remainder of the 2016 season and as we all know Gotham was dark in October once again.

While the health of a starting pitcher with Harvey’s track record can never be assumed, one can hope that Harvey, if healthy, will make more than 17 starts in 2017. If he does and can return to anywhere near the form that had him competing for Cy Youngs in 2013 and 2015, the Mets would have their third in a set of aces.

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