By John Delcos
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Filed under the category of good news for the New York Mets: Matt Harvey is cleared to throw. It’s important to know this does not accelerate his timetable and should not be construed to mean he will pitch this season.
Harvey, who finally relented to Tommy John surgery after initially wanting to rest, is expected to miss this season but be ready for next spring training.
The way these things progress, it first starts with a game of catch on flat ground – like you did with your dad in the backyard – with the distance gradually increasing to build up arm strength.
Eventually, leads to throwing halfway up the mound for a few sessions until reaching the rubber. The initial times on the rubber will not be at full speed. It might not be until the end of spring training before Harvey reaches that objective.
You’ll hear often the most important days are not the ones he throw, but the day after to see how his elbow responds.
Harvey expressed a desire to be with the team during the regular season opposed to the staff in Florida. While this hasn’t been decided, he will spend some time in Port St. Lucie for extended spring training and possibly minor league games.
It’s a good idea for Harvey to rehab in New York because Terry Collins, Sandy Alderson and Dan Warthen can keep an on him, not just to see how he’s progressing physically, but to be able to put the brakes on him mentally and emotionally.
Twice already in his young career – that we know of – Harvey pressed the issue when it came to dealing with pain.
First, he pitched through a tweak in his back and subsequently missed a start. Next, he tried to pitch through discomfort in his forearm that led to his elbow injury and eventual surgery.
If Harvey resists the urge to push things, he should be all right.
***John Delcos has covered Major League Baseball for over 20 years, including the Mets and Yankees since 1998. He is a Hall of Fame voter and owns and operates a Mets website, New York Mets Report.com