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Matt Harvey in Bullpen Might Be Best Plan for 2012

The Mets need to get their stud prospect to the big leagues to help while they still have a shot.

Despite management’s decision to have Miguel Batista start on Saturday, there is a great outcry to have 2010 first round pick Matt Harvey called up and fill the void in the rotation left by Dillon Gee’s blood clot injury.

The logic makes sense. Harvey has handled triple-A pretty well and the Mets seem to lack the depth necessary to effectively fill in for Gee. Even if Gee was healthy, Harvey would be on track to break into the Mets rotation in 2013. Why not just move him up now?

For me, the problem is that Harvey probably won’t be that much better than any other replacement level guy that the Mets could possibly slot into the rotation. Being a starting pitcher in the big leagues is really, really hard and with only two and a half months left in the season, the Mets cannot afford to wait through what is likely to be a steep learning curve for Harvey.

However, there is a position that has less of a learning curve and is also in demand by the Mets. That position, is, of course, relief pitcher, and it’s a spot where Harvey could produce instant results. By pitching in short bursts, Harvey could unleash his stuff and not have to worry about pitch counts or batter adjustments. More importantly, Harvey could have the same impact for the Mets as if they had brought in a guy like Grant Balfour or Brett Myers.

Without help from outside the organization, the Mets would need to fill that last rotation spot with Batista or Jeremy Hefner. That doesn’t sound to appealing, but chances are that in his first handful of big league starts, Harvey won’t be much better than either of them. Just look at the struggles that super prospect Trevor Bauer is having in his first big league action. Bauer came into the season even more highly regarded than Harvey was and he’s considered close to a sure thing when it comes to succeeding in the big leagues.

With cases like Joba Chamberlain and Jenrry Mejia, I know that taking a stud pitching prospect and sticking him in the bullpen may not be the most popular idea in New York. However, this sort of thing has worked out before. Once upon a time, the Tampa Bay Rays used David Price as a reliever to give their 2008 pennant run a shot in the arm. The next season, Price transitioned into the rotation rather nicely and is now among baseball’s elite pitchers.

Leaving the fifth rotation spot up for grabs is certainly not desirable, but at this point in the season, the Mets need instant results. The most likely way to get those out of Harvey is to bring him out of the bullpen.

This piece was written and submitted by Aaron Yorke. For more information on the New York Mets, check out the Daily Stache here. Also, follow the Daily Stache on Twitter by clicking this link.

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Barney July 20, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Fat chance they have a shot! Their bullpen is dreadful.
Jaguar-Guy July 23, 2012 at 10:45 AM
The choking has begun - sadly. Cough - cough !!!!
luv west islip July 23, 2012 at 04:06 PM
WILL THE METS EVER WIN AGAIN IS THE QUESTION! LOLLOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL wait I gotta take a breath LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL!
Jaguar-Guy July 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM
My Mets have lost 10 of 11, and the difference between the Yanks and Mets is the Yanks trade for Ichiro to fill a spot they need filled - Mets management won't pull the trigger.
SLJ July 27, 2012 at 01:01 PM
After last night's performance, I'd keep him in the rotation--and bat him cleanup!!
Mac July 27, 2012 at 03:50 PM
H can start in left field when not pitching also. Already a better hitter than Bay.
yankeechamp July 27, 2012 at 03:56 PM
my grandmother is a better pitcher then bay.
yankeechamp July 27, 2012 at 03:57 PM
sorry I meant hitter then bay
Jerry Del Priore July 27, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Are you kidding me about the bullpen? I know the pen stinks, but he's a starting pitcher, and anyone who knows baseball would agree!!!!!! BTW, it was never about this season! But you'll never hear rebuilding in NYC!!!!!
brookhavenconfusing July 27, 2012 at 07:59 PM
"For me, the problem is that Harvey probably won’t be that much better than any other replacement level guy that the Mets could possibly slot into the rotation. Being a starting pitcher in the big leagues is really, really hard and with only two and a half months left in the season, the Mets cannot afford to wait through what is likely to be a steep learning curve for Harvey." I know it was only one game, but it's funny to read that paragraph after last night's performance.

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