I understand it’s a long shot but could the Astros try and resurrect Matt Harvey’s career in Houston?
The former Comeback Player of the Year is still on the market and there hasn’t been much buzz surrounding him. Could the Astros be a viable place for Matt Harvey to land? Harvey came up with the Mets back in 2012 and soon graced the cover of Sports Illustrated a year later, where he was named the Dark Knight. In 2013 Harvey put on a show racking up 191 strikeouts while having a 2.27 ERA. He went on to make his first All-Star game appearance and it appeared that Harvey would become the face of the New York Mets.
This all changed after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2014, however, he bounced back the following year. It just got worse for Harvey and last year the former ace got designated for assignment. Harvey then got traded to the Reds and never saw his production increase, he finished last year 7-9 with a 4.94 ERA.
So why Houston?
The Astros have had the ability to help resurrect former injury prone players, the most recent was Charlie Morton who was never expected to make the Astros roster back in 2017, and yet he got the last out in the World Series for Houston. Morton’s entire career changed and his production rose in his tenure with the Astros, much credit is giving to pitching coach Brent Strom and his ability to help players get back on track.
At the moment, the Astros have three starters believed to be set, Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Collin McHugh, besides that there are still two open spots in the rotation. There have been talks about upgrading from within, but if Houston can get the Dark Night back on track, the Astros will only boost their chances at another World Series.
Harvey was always known for his off-speed pitches while being able to counter-attack with a 95 plus mph fastball. He was deceiving hitters left and right and that’s what made him so good. The Astros had the best spin-rate in baseball last year among pitchers, and that will only play to Harvey’s strengths.
I understand there’s a lot of speculation if he is still mentally and physically able to perform at the major league level. Worst case scenario the Astros give him an invite to Spring Training to give him a chance to prove himself if it doesn’t work then so be it. However, if it does and Harvey returns to his Cy Young form, the Astros will have the best rotation in baseball. It’s a low-risk, high-reward situation, and this seems like a move that GM Jeff Luhnow would look to make.