The Oakland A’s are hungry for a return to the postseason, and have proved so by making another addition to their starting rotation. 30-year-old Matt Harvey has been signed to a minor league contract, who was designated for assignment and released by the Angels almost a month ago.
Harvey’s time in Anaheim was short, and not too impressive. In 12 starts with the Angels, the right-hander went 3-5 with a 7.09 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 6.35 FIP, 1.96 HR/9 and 4.37 BB/9 in 59.2 IP. His walks from 2018 sky-rocketed, while the strikeouts plummeted. Harvey also surrendered the highest rate of hard contact in his career (42.6%). To go along with that, his HR/9 rate ranks as the second-highest of his career, and his 5.88 K/9 is his career-low.
The Angels knew they were taking a risk when they inked Harvey, signing him to a 1-year deal worth $11 million this past offseason. The deal clearly didn’t pan out for Anaheim, and Harvey now joins the Athletics with a month and a half remaining in the regular season.
The move is one of three starting pitching acquisitions made by Oakland in the past month, also adding Homer Bailey and Tanner Roark at the deadline. With a track record of reviving veteran pitchers with recent struggles, the A’s have added these three in hopes of grabbing one of the Wild Card spots in the AL.
Sitting 9.5 games behind the Astros, who currently rule the baseball world and show no signs of stopping, Oakland is left with a very small chance of winning the AL West despite an impressive 68-52 record. They also find themselves out of a Wild Card spot at the moment, trailing Cleveland by 3.5 games for the top spot and trailing Tampa Bay by two games for the second.
For the second year in a row, the A’s are having to fight their way to a playoff spot despite carrying one of baseball’s top records. With Houston at the top of the division with possibly the best club in baseball, Oakland looks to grab a Wild Card spot and reverse last year’s fortune, where they dropped the one-game playoff at Yankee Stadium. While Matt Harvey hasn’t been sharp, he could still turn out to be a productive arm for the A’s as we approach the midway-point of August. After scuffling in Anaheim earlier this season, Harvey now heads to a pitcher’s ballpark in Oakland to finish out the season with a young, talented and contending A’s ball club.
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