The Matt Harvey era in New York officially ended with the Mets traded him to the Cincinnati Reds. He now gets a second chance to change his career in a hitter’s ballpark.
In what came as a big surprise to New York Mets fans on Tuesday, the team actually got someone who can help the major league club from the Reds in catcher Devin Mesoraco for Matt Harvey. Now that the Harvey era is over in New York City, the question remains of how will he do in a ballpark (Great American Ball Park) that isn’t too kind to pitchers.
For the Cincinnati Reds, this is a no-lose situation. They can take a flyer on a pitcher that will be a free agent at the end of the season and their starters have nowhere to go but up. This season, the Reds’ rotation has a combined ERA of 5.58, which is the worst in the National League and the second highest in all of baseball (White Sox – 5.81).
Before Tuesday night’s game, Reds’ general manager Dick Williams met with the media and told them that Harvey is going to be a part of the rotation:
The Reds consider Matt Harvey a starting pitcher, their general manager Dick Williams said.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) May 8, 2018
While Harvey wanted no part of the bullpen or going down to the minor leagues, the Reds are a team where their home park is the equivalent of a bandbox. According to ESPN, Great American Ballpark has averaged 1.84 home runs per game, which is most of any ballpark this season. As for last season, it was in the top ten (1.094 per game – 10th in baseball).
If Harvey’s trends continue, it could only mean bad things for him in Cincinnati. Dating back to 2015, the 29-year-old right-hander has surrendered a total of 53 home runs in 73 appearances.
Now, only one of those outings came at Great American Ballpark and he threw the ball well. On September 26, 2015, he gave up two runs in 6.2 innings in a win and he did not give up a home run. That is a small sample size and Harvey is not the pitcher that he was in 2015.
At this point in the season, Harvey does not have to worry about being moved to the bullpen or down to Triple-A Louisville. Their team has a 4.06 ERA, which is the third highest of any team in the International League. So, Harvey’s spot isn’t exactly threatened by any top prospect that the Reds have in their organization.
As for the big league club, the Reds are going absolutely nowhere in 2018. They have a record of 8-27, which is the worst record of any team in baseball. Since the team isn’t going to make the postseason, it allows Harvey to pitch every fifth day to try to work out his problems and try to enhance his free agent value.
If Harvey can pitch well in a hitter’s ballpark, it can only help him. While the situation he’s coming to isn’t ideal, he gets an opportunity to help his career going forward if he has the right attitude in Ohio. It is all on Harvey now to help himself on a team that is going nowhere. If he doesn’t, then his career will continue to go nowhere.