ATLANTA -- A day after Matt Harvey submitted his worst start of the young season, declaring afterward that he is "a starting pitcher" and declining to answer if he would accept a Minor League assignment, the Mets spent significant time on Friday discussing what to do with him.Manager Mickey Callaway
ATLANTA -- A day after Matt Harvey submitted his worst start of the young season, declaring afterward that he is "a starting pitcher" and declining to answer if he would accept a Minor League assignment, the Mets spent significant time on Friday discussing what to do with him.
Manager Mickey Callaway said the team will not make a decision until after Jason Vargas, who is recovering from a broken bone in his right hand, visits a doctor today. Vargas will make a Minor League rehab start on Monday at Triple-A Las Vegas, and he could rejoin the Mets' rotation as soon as April 28.
In the interim, the Mets can either use Harvey on his regular turn on Wednesday in St. Louis, move him to the bullpen or ask him -- and he has the right to decline -- to report to the Minors.
"There are a lot of unanswered questions that we're still in discussions about," Callaway said. "There are tons of things we're considering. We're trying to leave no stone unturned right now."
Allowing six runs over six innings in Thursday's loss to the Braves, Harvey said afterward that he believes he made a breakthrough in retiring 11 of the final 12 batters he faced. Callaway and pitching coach Dave Eiland agreed, though as Eiland noted, "the game starts in the first inning, not the fourth." Harvey's average fastball velocity also remained more than a full mile per hour slower than it was last season -- down more than 4 mph from its 2013 peak.
Mets decision-makers have yet to discuss Harvey's short-term future with him, because they already know how he feels about the situation.
"I think he made that pretty clear yesterday, that he wants to be a starter," Callaway said. "And I don't blame him. I think everybody wants to start. What we are trying to do as a team is do what's best for the team and for the players."
That could mean asking Harvey to go to the bullpen, despite his resistance to it. Callaway pointed to the blueprint he established in Cleveland with Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar and Trevor Bauer, who all experienced at least some level of success following short-term stints as relievers. Eiland enjoyed similar success with Danny Duffy in Kansas City, and on a different scale with Wade Davis, who became one of the Majors' best closers after turning to a relief role permanently in 2013.
Davis, Eiland said, was as unhappy then as Harvey will be now if the team makes that choice. But if the Mets believe it's in their best interest, they won't hesitate to do it.
"I feel about the same way as I do when I take them out of a game," Callaway said. "They're unhappy. And I want them to be unhappy. I want them to have that fire to want to do something."
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.