UNC in MLB: Could this be Matt Harvey’s final ride in New York?

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: Matt Harvey
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: Matt Harvey /

The former Tar Heel and big league ace is trying to find his footing again. But is New York the place for Matt Harvey to revive his career?

Once given the nickname “The Dark Knight”, Matt Harvey was the King of Queens. He built his career dominating in Queens, New York for the Mets, but even before that, he was a bona fide ace.

His career at North Carolina lasted only three seasons but his place in the record book cannot be missed. He is ninth in strikeouts with 263 and tenth in wins with 22 in only three seasons.

Now, after five seasons in the big leagues, he is starting over from scratch again.

Harvey has experienced more ups and downs in five years than most players experience in a whole career.

His highs were incredible. He went 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA in 2013, good for an all-star appearance and a top-5 Cy Young finish. Harvey also dominated the postseason in 2015, going 2-0 in four outings with a 3.04 ERA.

The valleys were also deep. Harvey underwent Tommy John surgery in 2013, he had thoracic outlet syndrome in 2014, something that many pitchers deal with also, and he has had off-field issues.

However, 2018 seems to be a little bit different for Harvey.

With Harvey being in a contract season, his future in baseball hinges on this year. Harvey could potentially go from being an all-star and bona fide ace to being out of baseball, just like Tim Lincecum.

One start in, Harvey looks to be on the right track. He took the mound against the Philadelphia Phillies this past week and was the Harvey of old. He went five innings strong, striking out five while allowing one hit. It is pretty common to see pitchers have quick outings to open the season.

But with his time in New York running out, the question needs to be asked: Is New York the right place for a Matt Harvey rebirth?

Everybody who follows sports knows the toll that playing under the lights of New York can take on a player. Even under dimmer lights with the Mets, it can be hard on a player.

Should he turn his career around and become a good pitcher again, is it time to go to a smaller market?

There are plenty of teams that could use a middle of the line rotation guy. One that comes to mind off the top is the Minnesota Twins. Harvey would fit in perfect there because he could take a smaller role in a less harsh market. Minnesota is at the end of a re-build and is turning into a contender.

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If Matt Harvey can turn into his old self, or even something close, he will have plenty of options this offseason. This could very well be his last ride in New York City.