Matt Harvey has struggled in his first six starts this year, posting a 4.76 ERA and only 6.6 strikeouts per nine innings in 34 total innings of work. In a recent interview with the New York Post's Ken Davidoff, Harvey's agent, Scott Boras, implied that his increased workload last season may have contributed to his poor results this year.
"There's something unknown that we're looking at," Boras told Davidoff. "There's an unknown here that's operating. We're figuring it out as we go."
Harvey pitched 216 innings, including the postseason, in 2015. He had Tommy John surgery after the 2013 offseason and missed all of 2014.
Boras publicly stated last September that Harvey's innings should be capped at 180, which caused some tension with the Mets' front office. In his interview with Davidoff, Boras appeared to admit that such a limit was justified to be breached, thanks to the Mets' postseason run.
"I don't lay any fault to the Mets organization because the success of the team mandated the interruption of that sequencing," he said. "The playoffs demand a player to be a great teammate, and Matt Harvey's intentions always were to be a great teammate. The sequencing of his development from his surgery is something that was not ideal. there is a lot of unknowns that come from that interruption."
While Boras stated that he believed Harvey to be fully healthy, he wouldn't specify what exactly the "unknowns" might be in Harvey's early struggles this season. It's not clear if Harvey, Boras, or the Mets even know what these things are. Maybe Boras is being intentionally obfuscatory, as is often the case. Or maybe all parties are genuinely puzzled about Harvey's slow start.
Whatever it is, Harvey is missing fewer bats and allowing much more contact this season than he has in the past, and the Mets can only hope this is just a blip.