Matt Harvey, in some ways, has revitalized his career with the Orioles.
The former star Mets pitcher has given the Orioles 27 starts and 123.1 innings this season after pitching just 71.1 innings combined in 2019 and 2020 for the Los Angeles Angels and Kansas City Royals.
And, after a rough start to the season, Harvey has pitched to a 3.99 ERA in his last nine starts.
“He’s incredible, honestly,” Orioles ace John Means told reporters Tuesday. “He’s taught me a lot in how to push through some things. He’s dealing with what’s going on with him right now, and just pushing through it and starting and making a start every five days. It’s incredible to see what he’s doing, going to the bullpen and doing everything right and never coming to the field complaining.
“The man was on top of the world for three years, four years, and completely fell off. “And he’ll tell you that. And to have the demeanor that he has still is absolutely incredible — the mental capacity that he has. To have struggled early on in the season and to pitch really, really well this second half, it’s been crazy.”
But it remains to be seen whether Harvey will continue making starts for Baltimore, which, at 44-93, has the fewest wins in baseball and may want to shift their attention further to the future.
The Orioles have a slew of young arms to develop, including Zac Lowther, Alexander Wells, Mike Baumann, Keegan Akin, and Chris Ellis on their roster, plus Dean Kremer in Triple-A Norfolk.
Harvey has a 6.28 ERA, and his 14 losses are the most in the American League. The ERA is his best mark since 2018, after he posted an 11.57 in four 2020 starts and a 7.09 in 12 starts in 2019.
His fielding-independent pitching – which calculates an ERA based on what a pitcher can control, including walks, strikeouts and home runs – is 4.66, which suggests he is one of the unluckiest pitchers in baseball, as the Baltimore Sun notes.
So while Harvey, who earned $1 million this season on a one-year deal, has likely extended his career to next year with his performance in Baltimore, the club might be better-served giving some of his starts to their younger arms the rest of the way.