The Mets don’t know if Matt Harvey will ever be the same
New York Post
15th March 2017
JUPITER, Fla. — The search for Matt Harvey’s fastball will continue deep into spring training and perhaps beyond. When it will reemerge is anybody’s guess, but the Mets are even preparing for the unappetizing thought his heat may never return, in the aftermath of the surgery Harvey underwent last July for thoracic outlet syndrome.
On Wednesday, Harvey took the mound for his third exhibition start since the surgery and staggered through 3 innings at Roger Dean Stadium, in which his fastball consistently sat in the mph range. He allowed four runs, two of which were earned, on five hits and one walk with three strikeouts. Harvey, who threw 68 pitches, actually lowered his Grapefruit League ERA to 7.
88. “I’m not looking to throw 100 mph again or 97 even,” Harvey said on a day the Mets lost to the Marlins. “My job is to get people out no matter what I’m throwing, and I’m looking forward to it.
[The velocity] is going to be there or it’s not, and I have to go out there and pitch. ” In pitching coach Dan Warthen’s estimation, it could take until May for the Mets to really have an idea about Harvey’s potential velocity. “History says with that surgery that it’s 10 months out,” Warthen said.
“That’s when you really start to feel strong. Generally when you open a season you gain two miles per hour. If he’s playing at 94, 95, it’s a completely different story.
” Is Harvey in trouble if he doesn’t get the bounce in velocity? “No, because I know he can pitch [with] what he has right now,” Warthen said. Manager Terry Collins hesitated when he was asked if Harvey has made recent progress. “I thought he threw more breaking balls, which we wanted him to do,” Collins said.
“He’s just got to get his command going, and I think he’s going to be fine. He threw some very good changeups, but he wanted to get that slider working a little bit better, but he’s making progress. “I am not worried about velocity.
I am worried about command. If his command is good, he can pitch. ” The Mets experienced a similar situation last year with Jacob deGrom, whose velocity sagged into the but was passable for most of the season.
But deGrom has returned this spring throwing in the neighborhood, after undergoing surgery to relocate the ulnar nerve in his right elbow. Harvey, who is expected to receive three more starts in the exhibition season, was drilled on the left leg by Adeiny Hechavarria’s line drive in the second inning, but remained in the game following a visit from Collins and trainer Ray Ramirez. Matt den Dekker’s double in the fourth accounted for the Marlins’ final runs against Harvey, who was removed following the hit.
“I think today was the best I felt mechanically throughout the whole outing in a really long time,” Harvey said. “Going in that is what I really to do, was stay back and make sure I was going through my mechanics properly and the way I wanted to and feel comfortable. And today I was really happy with the way I felt on the mound.
” Harvey went with a 4. 86 ERA in 17 starts for the Mets last season before receiving the diagnosis of thoracic outlet syndrome. He indicated his spring training numbers are not a concern.
“It’s still early,” he said. “I’m not worried about the result today, I’m happy with the way I felt mechanically. I threw a lot of good pitches and I threw some bad ones.
That is excitement for my next outing. I think velocity, all of that will come in time, and just keep pushing forward. ”.
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