One of the lingering mysteries surrounding the New York Mets for the past few years is what happened to Matt Harvey. Harvey has spiraled downward the past few seasons, going from a high of eight brilliant innings in Game 5 of the 2015 World Series to a pitcher with an ERA of almost seven this season. Surgery to address Thoracic Outlet Syndrome last winter is partially to blame, but its not entirely responsible for Harvey’s 6.70 ERA, the worst for a pitcher with at least 17 starts in a season since Russ Ortiz posted a 6.89 ERA in 2005. Harvey will be back with the Mets next season, but agent Scott Boras has his eye on a long winter of hard work to try and get the old Harvey back.
Boras’ plan for Harvey is a winter with significant time at his southern California sports institute for “a substantial throwing program”, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. The idea here is to give Harvey a lot of repetitions to help him work on his command, which has been the biggest issue for him since the TOS procedure. Harvey has lost some velocity from his prime, when he was regularly throwing 97 miles per hour, but he did hit 95 in September. That should be more than enough velocity to get out big league hitters, but Harvey has had a difficult time locating his pitches, causing him to look more like a batting practice hurler than a big league ace.
Boras obviously has a ton of incentive to help Harvey since the right hander is a free agent after the 2018 season. Harvey would have been in line for a $200 million deal after 2015, but poor seasons in 2016 and 2017 have significantly weakened Harvey’s value. The hope is that all of the repetitions over the winter will help Harvey become more consistent with his release point, giving him better command and leading to better results. This would be perfectly fine for the Mets, who are honestly hoping for a good year from Harvey to help them win next season.