Matt Harvey is making Mets lose faith in his redemption
Whether he is the Dark Knight on the mound or partying deep into the dark night, Matt Harvey is the center of attention, the eye of the storm.
Much of that is a result of how he goes about his business.
How about if Harvey takes this demotion and handles it this way: Approach it like this is your last shot. It might be. Certainly with the Mets.
Put everything else on hold, and do what is best for your team, and in the long run, your free agency.
Suck it up, pitch out of the bullpen with a purpose. Pitch like you must prove yourself every inning. While you are at it, turn down the nightlife.
That is essentially what Sandy Alderson said Tuesday at Citi Field, and check out these words Mickey Callaway told The Post last week in the dugout in St. Louis: “Dave Eiland and I are never going to quit on Matt Harvey.”
In other words, they are giving it their best shot to try to salvage Harvey as a pitcher and, yes, as a starter. Harvey needs to do the same for himself. Give it your best shot.
After all, Harvey has put all that time into rehab following his Tommy John surgery and his thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, now put the time, the effort into rising from the bullpen ashes.
Approach all of this as a different kind of rehab, a give-it-your-best-shot rehab.
Alderson addressed the latest controversy before the Mets played the Braves at Citi Field. Page Six had reported Harvey “was partying in L.A. the night before he had a wobbly time coming out of the bullpen for the Mets in San Diego.”
Wobbly was a key word. That appearance was Friday.
“I think it can be a problem if it affects a pitcher’s preparation the following day or the following several days,” Alderson said. “I’m not sure that was the case here. Having pitched that Friday night when he gave up a home run, otherwise he looked pretty good. I think the other thing that I’d try to keep in mind is that pitching out of the bullpen is different than pitching out of the rotation.
“Part of the preparation for that role is recognizing that you can pitch any day, at any time and as a result you have to be a little more conscientious about what else is going on in your life in order to be prepared on a moment’s notice to pitch,” Alderson, a former Marine said. “I think that is part of the realization that maybe he’s had over the last few days. So, to answer your question as succinctly as I can, yeah it could be a problem. I don’t think it was in this case.”
That’s good news and bad news for Harvey. The GM made it clear Harvey needs to be prepared mentally and physically for his role. No excuses.
“The other thing is that Matt has to understand that people always notice what he does,” Alderson said. “It’s like a borderline pitch. In his case it always gets called a strike. As a hitter … it’s always called a strike so he probably learned something from it.”
Maybe. Asked if he was upset about the report, Alderson said, “I get upset if the report is unexpected. So I guess the short answer is no.”
It’s not like this is the first time Harvey has been on Page Six.
That’s even more reason for Harvey to take this bullpen demotion more seriously and be at his best to perform well in the bullpen so he can climb back into a rotation that has openings.
Harvey will be a free agent after the season. There is much work to be done by the right-hander. Since the start of the 2016 season Harvey is a combined 9-19 with a 5.78 ERA over 210 innings pitched, essentially what used to be a full season for a starter.
This demotion hurt. That’s understandable. The next demotion will hurt much more. Matt Harvey needs to think of this as his last shot and give it his best shot.
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