While there is a history between Matt Harvey and the KC Royals, the story will get a new chapter today when he takes the mound at Kauffman.
The KC Royals were set to play the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday, back home at Kauffman Stadium. Due to the Reds recently having a player test positive for COVID, though, the game was pushed back to today and the teams will meet in a doubleheader.
While this isn’t much of an issue, one question did quickly rise to the top. Who would be starting the second game? Jakob Junis would have been the likely starter, but after missing his last start, he was placed on the injured list due to lower back spasms.
There was a chance the Royals may go for another major league debut and fill their rotation with young arms. Instead, though, the Royals went with a recent acquisition, Matt Harvey.
The Royals signed Harvey to a minor league contract at the end of July and at the time, there were questions about where he would be used. The bulk of his experience comes as a starter, but it wouldn’t be crazy for the Royals to try and turn a struggling veteran into a bullpen piece with some production.
Harvey will get his first start as a Royal tonight though, and luckily he has some experience at Kauffman. Jeffrey Flannagan at MLB.com recently talked about Harvey’s starting opportunity and his experience at Kauffman from the 2015 World Series.
"“I wouldn’t say it’s strange being here,” Harvey said in a Zoom call. “It’s more exciting. I remember the electricity here from Game 1. Obviously, it was the World Series but just the fans here, the atmosphere — it was extremely exciting. It’s going to be different [Wednesday] with no fans, but you’re still playing an opponent with the name of another city on the uniform.”"
Harvey has continued to keep up with his training, not knowing whether or not he would get a chance to pitch again. He is excited to have the opportunity, and will hopefully be able to bring the Royals some success. Manager Mike Matheny has high hopes for the veteran starter.
"“He has a track record,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “You’re hoping to see parts of that again. He has been there and done that. The experience he has, the competitive nature … and he’s highly motivated to show the baseball world the type of pitcher he still is.”"
While there is no telling how tonight’s game will go for Harvey, fans can only hope that he will be able to bring some more stability to the Royals rotation which has seen some shakeups this season. The Royals have started to fall behind again and a few wins tonight would be good for the team, and perfect for Harvey’s confidence.
Matt Harvey will get his first start for the Royals tonight during their doubleheader with the Reds.