What, exactly, the Cincinnati Reds were going to do with Matt Harvey sure didn’t take long to go public. After acquiring the former New York Mets ace earlier this week in exchange for catcher Devin Mesoraco, the Reds are going to send Harvey to the mound on Friday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers as their starter, as was announced on Thursday evening.
Making way for Harvey in the rotation will be Brandon Finnegan, who’s getting optioned to AAA Louisville to continue to start. The Enquirer’s John Fay had the full news.
First off, optioning Finnegan seems a perfectly cromulent idea, especially given that he entered the day with the 3rd worst FIP in all of MLB among the 165 pitchers who had thrown at least 20 innings. He just hadn’t looked right since being activated off the 10-day DL in mid April following his slow recovery from shoulder issues. Also, with Homer Bailey forever entrenched in the rotation and a stretch of solid pitching from each of Sal Romano, Tyler Mahle, and Luis Castillo, he became the obvious choice.
As for Harvey, well, the timing makes sense on Friday, too. A Friday start and all things going as planned would have him scheduled to start again on Wednesday against the San Francisco Giants on this West Coast swing - and given that both are solidly pitcher’s parks, the chance to see him get innings as a Red that don’t come in dinger-happy GABP is a pretty savvy move, all told.
Whether that all works, obviously, is what we’ll get to watch in the coming week. But so far, the decision to bring Harvey in and insert him straight into the rotation appears to be the team’s plan despite his 3+ years of injuries and struggles.
Cross your fingers, as the Harvey Era in Cincinnati gets underway tomorrow.