It’s been a tough past two seasons for Matt Harvey. After a triumphant comeback from TJ surgery in 2015, when he had a 2.71 ERA over 189.1 IP, Harvey has combined for 9-17 record with a 5.78 ERA in 185.1 IP the past two years. There was talk that he was going to be available in a deal during the Winter Meetings. However, his new manager intervened, saying that he wanted the chance to work with him.
The reports were that after Mickey Callaway spoke up for him, Sandy Alderson removed Harvey from trade talks. Since then, Callaway seems to have been trying to lessen expectations for Harvey, saying that he may never be The Dark Knight again but that he doesn’t have to be. Callaway has had a lot of success working with pitchers and if he can get Harvey back on track that will certainly be another feather in his cap.
Harvey made his first start of the Spring on Wednesday, and he was consistently in the mid-90s with his fastball, with solid control. He gave up a run in two innings of work, with the run coming home on a GDP.
Here’s how our panel sees Harvey performing this year:
Mike K. takes the realist/pessimist role and I take the other end of the spectrum with the most optimistic forecast. My belief is that there won’t be a middle ground with Harvey this year. Either he’ll stink like he has the majority of the past two years or he’ll rebound to post solid SP2-type numbers. This, of course, assumes that he’s healthy and finally past the TOS surgery. My opinion is that Mike K’s forecast is more likely to happen than Joe’s.
Here’s our official group projection:
While my opinion is no middle ground, that’s exactly what our forecast calls for here. Usually our forecast feels optimistic. But with Harvey it seems like we’ve been burned too much so we’re adopting the bear posture. For the most part, we’re not ready to write him off completely. We think he’ll have roughly 20-25 starts at a low SP3/high SP4 ERA performance. That’s a world better than he’s been the past two seasons. Perhaps the question remains – Are we still optimistic? Here’s our forecast along with the computer models:
Unfortunately, even our middle ground forecast is optimistic. If fans think another year removed from surgery for a former ace is a reason to be bullish on Harvey’s chances in 2018, the computer models simply do not agree. We started these projections to see if the wisdom of the crowd of people who follow the Mets could trump the projections of the computer models. Let’s hope Harvey exceeds both human and computer forecasts in 2018.
Check back this weekend for the next entry in our projection series.