Matt Harvey overjoyed with chance to salvage career with Orioles

Matt Harvey has pitched on baseball’s biggest stage, but what he has been through since has given him a greater appreciation for the news he got this week. The former Mets right-hander, who

Matt Harvey has pitched on baseball’s biggest stage, but what he has been through since has given him a greater appreciation for the news he got this week.

The former Mets right-hander, who turns 32 on Saturday, has made the Orioles’ Opening Day roster.

“When you start an All-Star Game and then you pitch in a World Series, I think the last thing you ever think of is how excited you’ll be to make a team again,” Harvey told the Baltimore Sun on Thursday. “I’d like to say it was a good early birthday present, and it’s probably one of the best I’ve had.”

Harvey came to spring training on a minor-league deal before having his contract selected by the Orioles on Thursday. The rebuilding club gave him a shot to make their rotation, and he showed enough to win a job.

After posting a 7.82 ERA across 19 appearances (16 starts) with the Angels and Royals over the last two seasons, Harvey believes he has turned a corner this year after refining his mechanics and diving into the analytics side of pitching.

“The big thing that [pitching coach] Chris Holt likes to say is you should never look back and try and be just as good as you were before,” Harvey said. “He’s tried to emphasize that, with some new weapons, with smarter pitching, maybe I could be even better, at least strive to be better.

Matt Harvey pitches for the Orioles in spring training.
Getty Images

“In my mind, if I can prepare and make sure everything is lined up to be successful, then who knows what’s going to happen?”

Harvey was an All-Star in 2013 with the Mets, and even after coming back from Tommy John surgery, he recorded a 2.71 ERA in 2015 while pitching them to the World Series. But 2016 surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome helped play a part in his downfall, which came to a head in 2018 when the Mets designated him for assignment.

Still, Harvey said he isn’t focusing on being the pitcher he was early with the Mets.

“I’m not going to settle for anything,” he said. “I know how the lowest of lows feel in this game. My hunger to get back to being a successful starter – I’m not going to try and be as good as I was. I’m trying to be better. I think that’s what you’ll see on the mound.”

This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Greg Joyce

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