His team won't agree with his intentions, but right-hander Matt Harvey continues to rehab from Tommy John elbow surgery like a guy who wants to pitch this season.
Harvey made 20 pitches Tuesday, all fastballs, from a mound at the New York Mets spring facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla. It was first outing on the bump since his most recent start Aug. 24, 2013. Harvey felt so good during and after his session that he said:
“It feels like nothing ever happened. [...] It feels natural, it’s hard to wait.”
That's great, it's just that the Mets want to feel like nothing bad ever will happen again — or at least limit the possibility as much as possible. Harvey says he understands the risks of trying to come back from surgery at an accelerated pace, but he also says it's hard to know exactly what that means.
Here's more of what Harvey said:
Here's how the New York Daily News described the session:
Harvey threw off a mound Friday at Citi Field, catching some Mets executives off guard. Tuesday it was an official Met event with Harvey throwing in front of Mets major league rehab coordinator Jon Debus, PR guru Jay Horwitz, teammate Jeremy Hefner — who is also working his way back from Tommy John surgery — original Met Al Jackson and a handful of media members.
The 25-year-old threw hard, popping the catcher’s glove on most of the 20 pitches, showing his displeasure just once on a ball low and outside. But one errant pitch couldn’t quell his enthusiasm and confidence that he can pitch in the majors this year, despite just having had surgery in October. It usually calls for a 12-to-18 month recovery time.
We're nearly at 12 months now, with about eight weeks left in the season. The six-month window until spring training is a long time for Harvey to wonder. The Daily News notes that Mets general manager Sandy Alderson says that Harvey might continue to throw through October — presumably on the side — before shutting down for the winter, which means no winter ball. Harvey wants badly to get back in a real game before that happens.
The Mets can be big curmudgeons, which Harvey has experienced first hand over non-baseball stuff, like his social/social media habits. He might have some trouble trusting them. But it's probably better if he defers to their judgment on this injury. It's his life, but he's also their commodity. The safest way, after Tommy John, is best.
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