With Jason Vargas' return from the DL looming, Mickey Callaway won't commit to another Matt Harvey start after his disappointing performance against the Braves on Thursday night. As for Harvey in his postgame interviews, he asserted that he is a starting pitcher.
Over six innings in Atlanta, Harvey allowed six runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and a walk. All six runs came within the first three innings as the Mets stared down a 6-0 deficit early on.
Callaway refused to commit to Harvey's next start at his postgame news conference.
"He just didn't have his best stuff and they got to him," Callaway said. "Plain and simple."
Meanwhile, Harvey didn't entertain any ideas of moving to the bullpen.
"I'm a starting pitcher," Harvey said. "I've always been a starting pitcher. I think I showed that in the fifth, sixth inning."
When asked if he'd accept a trip to the minors, Harvey replied: "I can't answer that right now."
One of Harvey, Steven Matz or Zack Wheeler will likely be the odd man out of the rotation and, before the game, Callaway stressed that the decision will be to the team's benefit.
"We are going to make the best decision for the team and it might not be the guy who is performing the worst," Callaway said. "It might be the guy who can go in the bullpen and help us out the most, so we're going day by day and will make the right decision when the time comes."
Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Before Harvey's start, we reported that the team was evaluating whether to keep him in the rotation or Zack Wheeler. I got the sense that the team was still leaning Harvey, and that he'd have to get bombed in order to be the odd man out.
Well, he got bombed.
At least now, it won't be awkward for the front office. They don't have to worry about Harvey's objections, or Scott Boras', if they decide to move Harvey to the bullpen (Harvey can't be sent to the minors without his consent).
Plenty of outcomes are still possible. Wheeler and Steven Matz have to continue to prove that they are better options. Vargas has to return on schedule. Everyone, including Harvey, has to stay healthy. But Thursday's game was highly significant for Harvey's status, and his role with the team going forward.