Baltimore Orioles: Is Time Up for Matt Harvey in Baltimore?
After another disappointing start on Tuesday, are Matt Harvey’s days in the Baltimore Orioles’ rotation numbered?
On Tuesday, the Baltimore Orioles suffered a 7-2 loss on the road against the Cleveland Indians, giving the team an AL-worst 22-44 record on the season and their seventh loss in their last 10 games. Pitching to begin the game for the O’s was Matt Harvey, who allowed five earned runs in what was yet another rough outing for the veteran right-hander.
Harvey had a respectable start to the 2021 season, posting a 4.26 ERA with a 1.303 WHIP in the month of April. A crucial part of what made Harvey successful through the first month of the season was his ability to limit home runs. During the month, Harvey boasted a 0.71 HR/9, which is significantly better than his 1.93 and 2.89 marks in May and June, respectively.
Apart from the longball, Harvey’s present issue has been his inability to go deep into his starts. Since May 7th, Harvey has failed to make it through the fifth inning in any of his eight starts, working through just 27 innings with an 0-7 record over that span. Those seven losses, combined with his loss against the Boston Red Sox on April 8th, give him the most losses of any pitcher in the American League this season.
Across his three starts in June, Harvey has a horrific 12.54 ERA and has seemingly lost the ability to induce groundballs and keep fly balls from leaving the yard, both of which he succeeded in during the month of April. Harvey’s home run to fly ball ratio in June shows that a quarter of all fly balls he has allowed this month have gone for home runs. The increase is a staggering difference in outcomes, as Harvey’s HR/FB stood at just 6.1% during his first six starts of the season.
After Tuesday’s outing, Matt Harvey’s season-long ERA moved to 7.76, bringing those around the team to speculate how he may go about resolving this cold streak. Joe Trezza of MLB.com tweeted following the game that Harvey hadn’t considered moving to the bullpen when asked about the possibility of a role transition.
In his nine-year Major League career, Harvey has appeared out of a relief role just six times, three of which came last season during his time with the Kansas City Royals. Should this skid continue for Harvey, a move to the bullpen may not be out of the realm of possibility.