The Pittsburgh Pirates Need to Stay Away From Matt Harvey


Dear Neal Huntington, stay away from Matt Harvey. Thanks.

For the better part of the past decade the Pittsburgh Pirates and pitching coach Ray Searage have been known for bringing in reclamation project pitchers. Some have been greatly successful such as A.J. Burnett, Francisco Liriano, J.A. Happ, Jason Grilli, and Mark Melancon. While others have failed miserably, such as Jon Niese and Jonathan Sanchez. And some, such as Ivan Nova, fall somewhere in between.

A pitcher that appears to fit the Pirates’ reclamation mold is set to hit the open market today – Matt Harvey. However, this is one reclamation project the Pirates do not need to take on.

After refusing his minor league assignment the New York Mets are set to designate Harvey for assignment today. At one time Harvey looked like a budding superstar in baseball. That, however, was in 2013 and 2015. He missed all of 2014 due to Tommy John Surgery. But, it is now 2018 and Harvey appears to be nothing more than a mess.

Dating back to the start of the 2016 season, Harvey has pitched 212 1/3 innings and owns a 5.93 ERA and a 5.02 FIP in these innings. He has walked 8.5 percent of batters faced, struck out just 17.1 percent, and has allowed 35 home runs (1.48 HR/9). All of these stats paint Harvey as one of the five worst starting pitchers in the National League since the start of the 2016 campaign.

Things have gotten especially rough for Harvey this season as he owns a 7.00 ERA, 5.71 FIP, and has allowed six home runs in 27 innings pitched. Harvey has also gotten tagged to a hard contact rate of 43.0 percent this season which is third highest in the National League among pitchers with at least 20 innings of work.

The Pirates currently own an 18-15 record and sit just 1.5 games out of first place in the National League Central Division. They also are about to have six starting pitchers for five spots when Joe Musgrove gets healthy. Mix in the rotation already having had its fair share of inconsistencies this season, and there is no need to add arguably the worst starting pitcher in the National League since the start of 2016 to the mix.

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While Matt Harvey may seem like an enticing waiver claim and a worthwhile gamble, the Pittsburgh Pirates need to stay away from the 29-year-old righty. Harvey appears broken beyond repair and there is no need for the team to even try to fix him.

Batman may have once reigned supreme in the Pirates’ starting rotation, but this does not mean the team needs to now pursue the Dark Knight.