The A's Matt Harvey reclamation project has begun.
Harvey made his first start with the A's Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas on Saturday night, and he looked dominant. The former NL All-Star threw four shutout innings and allowed just two hits while striking out five.
The 30-year-old also showed solid command. He didn't allow a walk, and 38 of his 58 pitches were strikes. He also forced four groundouts.
The A's signed Harvey to a minor league contract Wednesday, and hope a change of scenery will help him find his old form after he sported a 7.09 ERA and 1.54 WHIP over 12 starts with the Angels this season.
"You look at some of the stuff, it doesn't look too much different than it did last year," A's manager Bob Melvin said at the time of the signing. "We're just going to give him some starts down in Triple-A and see where we are with that. You can never have too much depth.
"You never know about injuries and so forth, so we're giving him an opportunity to get some starts under his belt and we'll see where we go with him. We're not sure yet either."
Harvey looked like a future ace when he came on the scene in 2012. He had a 2.94 ERA and 1.08 WHIP through his first four seasons with the Mets, and then injuries derailed his career.
But Harvey did look a bit like himself after a trade to Cincinnati last season. Through eight appearances -- four starts -- with the Mets, he had a 7.00 ERA. In 24 starts with the Reds, though, Harvey went 7-7 with a 4.50 ERA.
Harvey did impress the A's in his one start against them this season, too, allowing two earned runs on four hits over six innings.
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"I was impressed by his stuff, so he's a good guy to take a chance on," Melvin said.
The "Dark Knight" might not rise again, but Harvey could be the perfect pitcher for the A's to take a chance with during the stretch run to the playoffs.