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Royals to call up Matt Harvey

The Dark Knight comes to KC.

New York Mets v Washington Nationals Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Royals will call up Matt Harvey, according to reporter Jon Heyman. The Royals had signed Harvey to a minor league contract pro-rated for $575,000 last month. The 31-year old right-hander was an All-Star with the Mets, with a 5.3 WAR season in 2013, finishing fourth in Cy Young voting. He is also known for coughing up a ninth inning lead in Game 5 of the 2015 World Series against the Royals, a game that became the series-deciding victory for Kansas City.

Harvey missed the entire 2014 season after Tommy John surgery but bounced back to have a very good 2015 season with 4.9 WAR. But he needed thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in 2016 and has not been the same pitcher since. From 2017 to 2019 he pitched in 63 games with a 5.89 ERA and just 6.9 strikeouts-per-nine innings for the Mets, Reds, and Angels. After the Angels cut him with 7.09 ERA in 12 starts last year he signed with the Athletics, but never made the big leagues with them.

Harvey will likely replace Jakob Junis in the rotation, after the right-hander was placed on the Injured List over the weekend with back spasms. The Royals/Reds series opener on Tuesday was postponed out of “an abundance of caution” after a Reds player tested positive for COVID-19, and the teams are scheduled to play a doubleheader on Wednesday. Brad Keller is the scheduled starter for the first game, and there has not been an announced starter for the second game.

Harvey would have to be added to the 40-man roster, but there is an open spot for him so no one else will have to be removed. Harvey is not the first member of the 2015 Mets the Royals have acquired, back in 2018 they also signed first baseman Lucas Duda, whose throwing error allowed the Royals to tie Game 5.