Mets move Matt Harvey to bullpen despite former ace's resistance

Former ace Matt Harvey may have started his final game for the New York Mets. That became a distinct possibility Saturday, when manager Mickey Callaway announced the team’s intentions to move Harvey to the bullpen.

If all goes according to plan, Harvey will be available out of the bullpen beginning on Tuesday, according to Mike Puma of the New York Mets. Jason Vargas will take Harvey’s spot in the rotation next weekend in San Diego.

Harvey’s demotion seemed inevitable on the heels of his third straight miserable outing Thursday night in Atlanta. Harvey’s given up 14 runs over his last 16 innings, including six earned runs over six innings against the Braves. Overall, Harvey is 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA this season.

When asked about the possibility of being demoted to the bullpen following Thursday’s outing, Harvey was dismissive. Callaway and the Mets obviously didn’t care how Harvey felt on the matter. Despite a strong 14-5 start that would leave many managers less willing to tinker with his roster, Callaway and his coaching staff are clearly willing to make a big change.

For his part, Harvey was no more thrilled with the final decision Saturday than he was with the mere speculation just days earlier.

Harvey, 29, hasn’t been the same pitcher since 2016, when he had season-ending surgery to fix thoracic outlet syndrome in right shoulder. At the time, Harvey was a little less than three years removed from Tommy John surgery. The season before, Harvey pitched beyond a suggested innings limit during the Mets run to the World Series. Many believe the extra wear and tear did Harvey no favors.

Former Mets ace Matt Harvey is ticketed for the bullpen after rough start to 2018 season. (AP)
Former Mets ace Matt Harvey is ticketed for the bullpen after rough start to 2018 season. (AP)

It’s impossible to know if that’s where Harvey’s problems really began. What we do know is that he’s been more of a liability than an asset for a while now.

The Mets really had no choice but to make Saturday’s decision. If this doesn’t prove productive, it will probably be time for both sides to move on.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Yahoo Sports Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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