By Rich Coutinho
New York (WFAN) – I wrote a couple of days ago on this blog that Matt Harvey was very impressive when I watched his Thursday bullpen session. Well, 2 days later he threw live batting practice and the results are in–his Met teammates are also impressed. And it is not just because of his stuff–it is about his presence on the mound.
I talked to Met Pitching Coach Dan Warthen briefly after Matt Harvey’s live batting practice session and he said to me, “You know Rich this kid not only has stuff but his mechanics are so good. He does not waste any motion out there–it is compact and powerful.” So many times young pitchers have what I call “happy feet” but Harvey’s wind up looks mechanically sound from the standpoint that his foot work is short and sweet coupled with a consistent arm slot which most pitchers his age have a hard time perfecting.
Josh Thole got a first hand look at Harvey and wholeheartedly agreed when he said, “You don’t see that kind of stuff every day and he is not even throwing upper 90’s yet. The late movement on his pitches is off the charts. There was one pitch I was sure would hit the batter but it came back over the plate at the last moment and very few hitters will be able to adjust to that on a consistent basis.”
But here is the:issue the Mets must face: They will get a lot of pressure to bring Harvey up more sooner than later from their fan base if he continues to wow everyone here in Port St. Lucie. And here is what I think about that. They MUST resist the temptation to bring him up too soon. He is much too valuable a commodity to rush through the system. As good as he looks, I firmly believe it is important for him to log in the time at AAA this season and maybe give him a taste of the big leagues come September.
My feeling is Matt Harvey will be a star for the Mets and ultimately an anchor in their starting rotation for years to come. That makes it so important to give him the time he needs to fine tune his craft before he is promoted to Flushing. When you promote a player to the majors, you want him to stay– not to bounce back and forth. Like I said, the temptation will be there to fast track him but with adults like Sandy Alderson in the room, I am sure the Mets will take the proper conservative approach that makes sense for all parties concerned.