The Los Angeles Angels designated 30-year-old Matt Harvey for assignment Friday after another dismal performance.
Harvey, the former all-star who signed a one-year, $11 million deal with the Angels in December, allowed six runs over six innings against the Houston Astros on Thursday. In 12 starts this season, Harvey is 3-5 with a 7.09 ERA, 39 strikeouts and 29 walks. His ERA hasn’t been lower than 6.35 since his first game on March 29.
“The decision was made because we felt like it would increase our chance of winning games,” Angels Manager Brad Ausmus said. “Matt was a very well-liked teammate, a guy that everyone pulled for, including myself. But we’re in the business of winning baseball games. In talking to [General Manager] Billy [Eppler], we just felt like this was the best move to make in order to help us win games.”
Harvey was a key component during his six seasons with the Mets, starting the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field and striking out 188 batters two years later to help lead the team to the World Series.
Harvey missed the 2014 season after having to Tommy John surgery. His 2015 campaign (13-8 record, 2.71 ERA in the regular season, 2-0, 3.04 ERA in four postseason starts) earned him the National League Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Game 5 of the 2015 World Series signaled the beginning of a downward trajectory for the New York pitcher known as "The Dark Knight.” Up 2-0 in the ninth inning, Harvey resisted overtures from pitching coach Dan Warthen and manager Terry Collins to exit the game.
“I want this game," Harvey told Collins. "I want it bad. You’ve got to leave me in.”
Harvey stayed in the game, then allowed a walk and a double. The Royals tied it and eventually won, 7-2, in 12 innings to capture the World Series title.
In 2016, he floundered to a 4.86 ERA in just 17 games. He underwent surgery that July to correct thoracic outlet syndrome. The next year, he walked a career-high 47 batters as his ERA skyrocketed to 6.70. He went 0-2 with a 7.00 ERA in eight games to start the 2018 season with the Mets. He lost his spot in the starting rotation and refused to accept a minor league assignment. New York traded him last May to the Cincinnati Reds for catcher Devin Mesoraco and cash. In 24 starts with the Reds, Harvey went 7-7 with a 4.50 ERA, 111 strikeouts and 28 walks.
Over time, Harvey’s struggles extended off the field, leading critics to question his dedication to the game.
The Mets suspended Harvey three games in May 2017 after he missed a game after reportedly partying the night before and playing a round of golf that morning. He originally claimed to miss the game due to a migraine.
In April 2018, Harvey reportedly partied in Beverly Hills the night before pitching against the San Diego Padres. He allowed one home run and one walk in one inning that game. The Mets traded him to Cincinnati a couple weeks later.