Baltimore Orioles: Matt Harvey providing semblance of hope

Jul 24, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Matt Harvey (32) pitches during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 24, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Matt Harvey (32) pitches during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports /
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It feels as though the baseball world has been waiting for years for Matt Harvey to regain his form. He just has not been the same since the 2015 campaign and his subsequent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, typically struggling as he attempts to find his way once again. The Baltimore Orioles were the latest team to take a chance on the former All Star, his fifth team in the past four years.

Harvey, predictably, has not pitched well for much of the season. He has posted a 5-10 record with a 6.65 ERA and a 1.580 WHiP over his 88 innings, striking out 67 batters with 27 walks. It would appear as though nothing has changed.

Matt Harvey showing flashes for Baltimore Orioles

But there has been reason for hope. Harvey’s velocity has started to return, as he had hit 97 MPH with his fastball for the first time since 2017. His home run rate of 1.2 homers per nine innings is his best mark 2016. While he is not striking out hitters at the same rate he did in his earlier days, his command is better than it had been since 2018. His 4.43 FIP indicates that maybe, just maybe, Harvey could be a decent enough back of the rotation arm.

More Orioles. Mancini thrills at Home Run Derby. light

The results are starting to appear as well. While Harvey has had moments where he has performed well, his past two starts have been unexpectedly solid. He has allowed just four hits and a walk over his past 12 innings, striking out six batters without allowing a run. Those two outings mark his first quality starts since April 26.

Obviously, two starts and 12 innings are hardly anything to base a comeback story on. Harvey would need to prove that his recent success can be sustained for an extended period of time. But his peripherals and returning velocity show that there may still be something there.

If Harvey can pitch reasonably well over the final two months of the season, it is possible that he can earn a major league job next year. It is a tall task considering his struggles since the end of the 2015 season, but for the first time in years, Harvey is giving hope that he could actually be a useful part of a major league rotation.

Next. Orioles Mount Rushmore. dark

Matt Harvey has pitched better than his raw statistics have indicated. The Baltimore Orioles pitcher is giving hope that he has finally turned the corner.