Posted on April 21, 2018, by Bryan Zarpentine

New York Mets Matt Harvey

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The next time Matt Harvey takes the mound, he’ll do so as a reliever. New York Mets manager Mickey Calloway announced Saturday that Harvey is being moved to the bullpen. With Jason Vargas set to return from the DL within the next week, someone in New York’s rotation had to be the odd man out. On the heels of back-to-back losses, the Mets chose Harvey.

“I think he made that pretty clear yesterday that he wants to be a starter,” Callaway said Saturday. “I don’t blame him. I think everybody wants to start. What we are trying to do as a team is do what’s best for the team and for the players.”

Harvey got off to a good start this season. He allowed just one hit in five shutout innings against the Phillies in his season debut. But it’s been all downhill from there. In his three starts since then, Harvey has allowed 14 runs in 16 innings of work. In his most recent start agains the Braves on Thursday, Harvey gave up six runs on eight hits over six innings, forcing the Mets brass to spend two days thinking about how to proceed with him.

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“My performance hasn’t been there, and I just have to do whatever I have to do to get back into the starting rotation,” Harvey told reporters Saturday. “That’s, right now, go to the bullpen, work on some things, get things back to where I need to be, get my s**t in order, and figure it out.”

Calloway says Harvey going to the bullpen is what is best for both the team and the player. He also acknowledged that while he believes Harvey can help the Mets coming out of the bullpen, it’s also likely that he’ll be a starter again some time this season.

“I think he can help us. (Pitching coach Dave Eiland) and I have both seen guys go to the bullpen and come out of it better than they were before, and I believe that can be the case wit Matt Harvey,” said Calloway. “I think we can help him utilize his aggressiveness, his ability to use his pitches the right way to get outs, and hopefully that will carry over to when he starts again. It’s inevitable that he’s going to make more starts for us this year.”

Despite the demotion to the bullpen, Harvey would likely be the top choice the next time the Mets need another starter. Of course, with former starters like Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman in the bullpen, that plan could change if Harvey doesn’t take to his new role. However, while Harvey admits to being upset at his move to the bullpen, he appears motivated to work his way back into the rotation.

“I don’t have to agree with it, but I have to go out there and do the best I can to get things going,” said Harvey. “Right now, I just have to work on some stuff and get people out.”

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