Mets360 2017 projections: Matt Harvey

Does the season hang on Matt Harvey? We seem to think that Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom will be both healthy and dominant. And while we haven’t projected Steven Matz yet, it’s probably safe to assume that not many will be throwing out 200 IP seasons for him. So, can Harvey recover from his surgery and be the guy he was in 2015, when he contributed 189.1 IP at a 2.71 ERA? Or is he destined to have another 2016, where he gave neither quality nor quantity? Here are our individual forecasts:

IP ERA Ks BB HR FIP Contact%
Dalton Allison 185 3.65 176 40 30 4.05 52.7
Joe Barbieri 192 2.53 196 46 17 3.03 74.3
John Fox 165 2.75 185 33 16 2.82 76.1
Charlie Hangley 185.7 2.99 196 47 17 3.04 77.6
Brian Joura 148 3.14 133 40 11 3.18 77.7
Mike Koehler 180 2.75 182 40 14 2.86 76.0
Matt Netter 215 2.38 228 49 9 2.31 59.0
Jim O’Malley 162 3.51 155 38 15 3.19 76.1
Rob Rogan 156 3.30 150 32 15 3.14 75.5
Mike Ryan 170 3.23 182 35 11 2.52 77.3
Chris Walendin 138 3.63 117 31 13 3.40 81.0

There’s more variability here, both in terms of innings and ERA, than there was for either Syndergaard or de Grom. Still, my expectation was that someone would have him failing to reach triple digits in innings or with an ERA in the fours and we don’t see that. A big surprise is Dalton expecting Harvey to surrender 30 homers, which is the number he allowed in 65 starts over 2012, 2013 and 2015, combined. Hands down the biggest surprise is Matt expecting him to reach 215 innings and pitch spectacularly in those.

Here’s what the group thinks Harvey will do in 2017:

Harvey2017

That’s pretty close to a full season at pretty much a #2 SP level of quality. This time last year we projected 201 IP and a 2.75 ERA and that one didn’t quite come to pass. It feels a tad optimistic to me but it’s understandable, as we all have a special place in our heart for Harvey and know what he can do if he’s healthy. But what do the cold-hearted computer models say? Take a look:

IP ERA K BB HR FIP
Mets360 172.3 3.14 173 39 15 3.00
Steamer 141 3.65 130 34 16 3.61
ZiPS 141 3.83 112 45 13 3.8

Yeah, the computer models aren’t nearly so optimistic. But that’s not a surprise, either. In two of the last three years he’s been far short of glorious, having missed the 2014 season and then last year’s injury-shortened season with poor results. The computers don’t know Harvey went under the knife and the humans have no idea if or how quickly he’ll be able to bounce back from the TO surgery. And when you come right down to it, no one should be really surprised with whatever Harvey produces this year.

The ZiPS comp for Harvey is Dick Ruthven and boy it hurt to read that and it hurt again to type it. Ruthven pitched in the majors for 14 years but outside of 1978 and 1980, he was mostly forgettable. That is if you forget that he was a member of the Phillies in the late 70s-early 80s who used to beat us like a drum and also a member of the 1984 Cubs. Ruthven didn’t have great results against the Mets – it’s more of a guilty-by-association thing. Hopefully Harvey comes back at full strength in 2017 and thoughts of ever having him in the same sentence with Ruthven become laughable.

10 comments for “Mets360 2017 projections: Matt Harvey

  1. Eraff
    February 6, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    It’s fun to hear an old name like Dick Ruthven. He was a decent pitcher, 123 wins. I know it’s not your comparison, but I don’t see the similarity— Ruthven was more like Pelfrey, with a longer and more positive track record.

    The Season hangs on Any Three of their starters combining for at least 540 innings, with a Healthy finish of any 3 Starters….. 570-600 would be the more ideal innings total.

  2. Popeye
    February 6, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Will Syndergard,deGrom, Harvey,Matz give us closer to100 or to 80 starts? That will determine how the season goes.

    • February 7, 2017 at 8:17 am

      Last year those four gave us 93 starts and that’s with three of them spending time on the DL. I’d like to think we’d get more than that this year but until we see them throw in game action, it’s anybody’s guess.

  3. Mike Walczak
    February 6, 2017 at 11:40 pm

    He could be ok or he could end up like Mark Prior.

  4. Jim OMalley
    February 7, 2017 at 7:44 am

    More of a pitching staff question, than a Harvey question….but any thoughts on how the potential strike zone change might impact the staff’s performance?

    • February 7, 2017 at 8:08 am

      Personally, I think anyone who can throw 97 mph ought to be pitching up in the zone to about 95% of the hitters, anyway.

      • DED
        February 7, 2017 at 10:07 am

        Thank you! Agreed entirely.

        Popeye’s comment above is to the point; I would add that 700 innings from the Mets big four would still leave nearly 800 innings to be found elsewhere. Robert Gsellman could be as important as anybody on this staff, simply in keeping the between innings from costing the Mets their season.

      • Jimmy P
        February 7, 2017 at 12:25 pm

        Pitchers need to throw up and down, in and out, and change speeds.

        The FB at the knees is a cornerstone pitch. A requirement.

        But the high FB with two strikes can be devastating. Jake throws it particularly well. Wheeler, too. It’s all about being ahead of the count.

        I think you’re right in that the high strike helps the high-velocity pitcher.

        Glavine was a (great) pitcher who came along at exactly the right time for his arsenal. The strike zone lost depth but gained width. He could get strikes inches off the plate, and he didn’t really have the stuff to get away with belt-high fastballs. The new zone, if it becomes a real thing, wouldn’t have been good news to Mr. Glavine.

        Interesingly, the old horizontal strike zone pretty much killed the curve ball. A new more vertical strike zone might help revive the curve, which depends on depth more than width.

  5. Metsense
    February 9, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    183 IP, 3.47 ERA, 167 K, 43 BB, 16 HR, 3.47 FIP
    I project the Harvey is going to have a spotty season with some ups and downs but he will still rate as a solid #2 starter. On the Mets staff in 2017 there will be four other starters that will end up the season with better stats than him. This will be an amazing starting staff.

    • February 9, 2017 at 11:44 pm

      I hope you’re right!

      I just did a podcast with Mike Podhorzer from RotoGraphs, who among other things has his own systematic projection system. He predicts a 3.25 ERA from Harvey this year. You can listen to the show at – http://tobtr.com/s/9800203

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