In 18 starts for Triple-A Buffalo this season, Matt Harvey is 7-4 with a 3.39 ERA, having allowed 37 earned runs, 87 hits, with 42 walks and 102 strikeouts in 98 1/3 innings.
Harvey pitches tonight against the Toledo Mud Hens, which you can watch live on SNY at 7:00 pm.
This past weekend, Terry Collins said that, in all likelihood, Harvey or Miguel Batista will start next Saturday’s game against the Dodgers at Citi Field.
According to Collins, tonight’s start is essentially an ‘audition,’ since, as Andy McCullough said on Twitter, “A plethora of Mets officials will be there.”
Last week, Wally Backman had the following to say about Harvey’s progress in the Daily News:
[jbox color=”white”]“He’ll take a lump or two if they call him up. But his fastball command is much improved. He can help them. … He’s gotten better at getting the ball down in the zone, hitting his spots with the fastball instead of just overpowering guys at this level. His curveball is major-league quality and he’s getting better with his changeup.”[/jbox]
Over his last 10 starts, Harvey is 4-3 with a 2.72 ERA. He’s allowed 44 hits, 24 walks while striking out 64 in 56 1/3 innings, holding opponents to a .210 average over that span.
Toby Hyde: Lets be clear, Harvey’s development would be best served by a few more starts in Triple-A. He has improved dramatically over the course of the year in nearly every respect. If you want to make the argument that the Mets should call him up now, it rests on the progress he has made over the course of the year. In particular, his fastball command is better; he is avoiding the middle of the plate; and he’s working down in the zone. The velocity is there, working 93-94 mph and touching higher marks, but he’s learned he can not live on velocity alone. He was hesitant to use his changeup earlier in the year, but he has begun to use it more lately and with good results.
Mike Nichols: Look, I understand the development concerns and the affect immediate failure may have on him going forward. But Harvey has pitched 158 minor league innings during the last two years. Add that to the 238 plus innings in college and you have a young pitcher with plenty of experience under his belt. We are not talking about a junior college pitcher that was drafted last month. Yes, pitching in the the Major Leagues and for a team in New York during a pennant chase is much different animal, but I don’t think he needs to be coddled. If, as Toby suggests, Harvey needs a few more minor league starts to further his development, then perhaps the best spot to call up Harvey is during the Mets 11-game West Coast trip that starts later this month. Starting his major league career away from the big lights of New York might be the best scenario.