Minnesota Twins: A look at if Matt Harvey could help the pitching staff

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ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 19: Matt Harvey #33 of the New York Mets throws a second-inning pitch against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on April 19, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 19: Matt Harvey #33 of the New York Mets throws a second-inning pitch against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on April 19, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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The Minnesota Twins have had a rough start even after adding several of pitchers this offseason. Should they look to also add Matt Harvey to help the staff?

The Minnesota Twins spent the offseason upgrading several facets of their pitching staff in anticipation of a competitive run. The Twins traded for Jake Odorizzi and signed Lance Lynn, Addison Reed, Fernando Rodney, and Zach Duke. There is an opportunity now to try to grab a former All-Star starter in Matt Harvey.

In case you missed it, Harvey and the New York Mets have had a bit of a falling out. Harvey who once was a frontline, ace level starter has struggled to get things done since undergoing surgery for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Yes, that same Thoracic Outlet Syndrome that has stolen any usefulness out of Twins pitcher Phil Hughes.

In order to try to salvage some productivity out of Harvey, the Mets moved him to the bullpen. After 6.0 innings of ineffectiveness, the Mets looked to demote him to Triple-A to go work on his craft. Harvey flat-out refused that assignment and is instead going to be released from the club.

The question every major league club will now be asking themselves is if Harvey can help their team get better. When good Harvey was an ace pitcher that you hated to see your team have to face. Harvey was striking out about 10 batters per nine innings during a two-year stretch from 2012-2013. Then Harvey underwent Tommy John surgery and missed all of 2014. Now since 2016, life has been tough on the mound for the former ace.

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That is the Harvey teams are taking a look at. Harvey has now lost 1-2 mph on his velocity. That is never a good sign for a pitcher. His K/9 rate has dropped from near 10 K/9 to just below 7 K/9. Since 2016, Harvey has a 5.93 ERA and a 5.02 FIP. What will cause teams to give Harvey a look is that glimmer of hope that he will regain some of his previous form.

Most of the time it would seem this would be a great gamble for any team. The biggest obstacle with Harvey isn’t just that he hasn’t been pitching well. It is if he continues to not pitch well you are stuck with him on your major league roster as he seems unwilling to go to the minors.

Should the Twins try to bring Harvey in?

The Twins already seem to have a logjam of starting pitchers, which is a good problem. Not a problem that seems worth increasing the level of for Harvey. In the next month or so the Twins will be welcoming back Ervin Santana and Trevor May and need to see where they figure into the mix. Young flamethrower Fernando Romero looked ready in his first start in the majors and his spot isn’t even certain due to the number of starters vying for a spot on the roster.

Next: Fernando Rodney wearing out his welcome

Harvey’s performance and the Twins roster just makes him not make sense for the team to go after. If this was the 100 loss Twins then it would be a great gamble. This Twins team is still looking to rebound and make a run for a playoff spot and doesn’t need to be taking on this kind of project at this time. It didn’t work with Tyler Kinley this season, no reason to see if it will work with the post Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Harvey.

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