Former Mets ace Matt Harvey hasn’t pitched in the majors in more than a year, and he knows that this could be his last chance at sticking in the big leagues.
The 31-year-old Harvey is set to start for the Kansas City Royals in the second game of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday. The Royals signed Harvey to a minor-league deal in late July after he was released by the Los Angeles Angels last summer.
After signing a one-year, $11 million contract with the Angels prior to the 2019 season, the club released Harvey in July after he went 3-5 with a 7.09 ERA in 12 starts.
This could just be a spot start for the pitching-desperate Royals or he could pitch his way into their rotation.
“Whatever is needed,” Harvey told the Kansas City Star. “I obviously don’t have a ton of experience coming out of the bullpen. I was able to do that a little bit with Oakland last year in Triple-A. But you know what? My job is to go out and execute pitches and do that whether it’s the first inning on, or coming in the fourth, fifth, sixth, whatever it is. … At this point in my career, just having the opportunity to play again has definitely opened my mind to whatever role is needed.”
The Mets traded Harvey to the Reds in May 2018 after they buried him in the bullpen for going 0-2 with a 7.00 ERA. Harvey became a free agent following the 2018 season. Harvey told The Post in May that he was concerned his MLB career was over.
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“Obviously, he has a pretty good track record, what this guy has been,” Royals manager Mike Matheny told the paper. “You’re hoping to see parts of that again. Realizing that he’s been there, done that. There’s a lot to that, as well. The experience, the stuff, the competitive nature, all of those things and what (the staff) is seeing in his execution right now.
“You get a guy who is highly motivated to get back up there and show the baseball world the kind of pitcher he still is. This is a great spot for him. We had need. And you always look for those guys that have those traits with the experience, the stuff and the drive.”