It’s not important Matt Harvey is no longer considered to be the Mets’ ace. What is important is for him to just be part of the rotation. As of now, with Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler hurting and struggling, Harvey figures to slot in as third in the rotation.
He’s been solid in his two starts, and if he continues to pitch as well in his remaining four exhibition starts as he did in his three shutout innings in today’s 4-2 victory over Detroit, he could conceivably start the season’s second game if Jacob deGrom isn’t ready.
Harvey was throwing free and easy, and topping out in the mid-90s, something he rarely did last spring.
“You don’t want to be a weak link in such a powerful rotation,’’ Harvey told reporters today. “That’s what keeps us going, and pushing each other so hard. It’s nice to finally be part of that.’’
Harvey struck out two, walked one and gave up one in 48 pitches. Ideally, you’d like for him to throw fewer over three innings, we have to remember he’s still trying to return from thoracic outlet syndrome and arterial surgery.
Harvey might never hit 100 again, but he threw hard enough today to win, and if his changeup and slider register in the upper-80s as they did today, he could be very successful.
Most importantly for Harvey is how he’s implemented manager Mickey Callaway’s suggestion to speed up his delivery.
“This is a completely new year, like I’ve said,’’ Harvey said. “My mechanics are completely different. My arm’s completely different.’’
Let’s hope the results are.