The Dark Knight begins to rise.
Mets ace Matt Harvey has arrived at New York’s spring training home, Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Mets pitchers and catchers’ mandatory reporting date is not until February 19th. Harvey is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery that he underwent in October of 2013.
Though he wanted to return late in the 2014 season, the Mets held him back so he could start fresh this season. Harvey, 25, worked out with fellow Mets rising stars Zack Wheeler and Jacob deGrom. He did not throw today.
After his workout session, Harvey told reporters,
“I’m excited… I’m healthy. I’m right where I need to be, and I’m excited about getting started. The big test will be once hitters get in there and facing them. I’ve been throwing bullpens and everything is right where I want it to be. It’s an exciting spring training for me… My goal is to be ready for Opening Day, regardless what is decided. Looking towards performance is right now kind of an unrealistic thing to look at. I want to make it through spring training. My arm feels great. Now it’s about getting used to facing hitters again… Just the way the ball’s coming out, I’m pretty on point with my accuracy right now, which is surprising. Obviously hearing from guys who came back from Tommy John surgery, that was kind of the last thing that sometimes comes. I couldn’t be happier with the way things feel.”
New York officials have said that Harvey will not face live hitters until March, but will throw a bullpen session in the next few days. The Mets brass has talked about holding back Harvey a little bit this year, but not to the extent that the Nationals did with Stephen Strasburg following his surgery.
In an effort to limit their young slinger, general manager Sandy Alderson has publicly said that the Mets will skip some of Harvey’s starts, and can do so effectively with their abundance of young pitching. Alderson and manager Terry Collins have also stated that the Mets would like Matt Harvey to start their home opener on April 13th against the Phillies, six games into the season.
Harvey burst on to the scene in 2012, making 10 starts. He became a household name in 2013, winning nine games and pitching to a 2.27 ERA, though his season was cut short after 26 starts with elbow discomfort, ultimately leading to surgery. The Mets are relying on Harvey to come back and lead them to the postseason for the first time in nine years.