Former All-Star right-hander Matt Harvey took to instagram this morning to announce his retirement. “I have to say this is my time to say thank you, and goodbye.” Harvey writes, “To the fans, and most importantly the NY Mets fans: you made a dream come true for me. A dream I could have never thought to come true. Who would have thought a kid from Mystic, CT would be able to play in the greatest city in the world, his hometown. You are forever embedded in my heart.”
The seventh overall pick in the 2010 draft, Harvey was selected by the Mets and made his debut during the 2012 campaign. During that ten start cup of coffee in 2012, Harvey pitched to a sterling 2.73 ERA (140 ERA+) with a 3.30 FIP, but that was just a taste of what was to come, as the following season ended up being the best of Harvey’s career by a wide margin.
In 178 1/3 innings of work in 2013, Harvey posted a phenomenal 2.27 ERA (157 ERA+) with a league-leading 2.01 FIP. He struck out 27.7% of batters he faced that season while walking just 4.5%. That performance not only earned him the lone All-Star appearance of his career, but a top four finish in Cy Young Award voting. Unfortunately, Harvey’s phenomenal year was cut short when he required Tommy John surgery, missing the end of the 2013 campaign and the entirety of 2014 while rehabbing.
He returned to the mound in 2015 with another strong season, posting a 2.71 ERA and 3.05 FIP over 189 1/3 innings of work in the regular season. Harvey went on to pitch for the Mets during the postseason, posting a 3.04 ERA in 26 2/3 innings of work as the Mets advanced past the Dodgers and the Cubs to face the Royals in the World Series.
Harvey’s injury woes would return in 2016, however, as Harvey struggled to an uncharacteristic 4.86 ERA in 92 2/3 innings of work before being shut down for the season in July to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. Following the procedure, Harvey was never quite the same pitcher, as he struggled both in terms of results and to stay on the field. He posted a 6.15 ERA in 446 2/3 innings of work following his 2016 surgery.
Designated for assignment by the Mets early in the 2018 season, he would go on to pitch for the Reds, Angels, Royals, and Orioles before serving a 60-game suspension for “participating in the distribution of a prohibited Drug of Abuse in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.” The suspension came after Harvey testified in the trial of former communications director of the Angels Eric Kay, who was convicted of distributing fentanyl that resulted in the death of former pitcher Tyler Skaggs. During the trial, Harvey testified that he had provided Skaggs with Percocet pills.
Following his suspension, Harvey returned to the mound in the minor leagues, posting a 3.71 ERA in 70 1/3 innings. Harvey then pitched for Team Italy during the World Baseball Classic this spring, where he posted a 1.29 ERA in seven innings of work over two starts, leaving his baseball career on a high note.
All in all, Harvey ends his career with a 4.42 ERA in 966 1/3 innings with 50 wins and 867 strikeouts. MLBTR wishes Harvey the best as he transitions in whatever comes next following his playing career.