By Ed Coleman
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Matt Harvey is back! Well, sort of. Harvey met a major goal on Saturday when — four months to the day, October 22 to February 22 — he threw his first pitches since undergoing Tommy John surgery.
It was just 20 tosses from 60 feet, and Harvey was not nervous, not curious, just excited.
Harvey obviously has to take care not to do too much too soon, but that’s where the voices in his head come into play.
Harvey has expressed interest and confidence that he can pitch at some point in 2014, so it was inevitable that he’d be asked whether that was a goal that he was shooting for.
And despite what he thinks he can accomplish during his rehab period, he wants to remain realistic about his goals.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson was very definitive: the focus should be — and will be — on the present with Harvey.
The ace right-hander will throw every other day for now, will not give daily updates on his progress, but will speak at intervals during the process.
Harvey wanted to make one point very clear. Spring training was not about his rehab — it was about the team getting ready for the season.
And all manager Terry Collins knows is this — he’ll be rooting hard for Harvey to make it back in due time and in full health. But it will also be very hard not to think about what and who is absent from his starting rotation.
Meanwhile, the Mets have set their starting pitchers for the first six exhibition games. Of course, as they say, it’s subject to change.
Rafael Montero will get the nod for the spring opener against the Washington Nationals this coming Friday, February 28 at Tradition Field. On Saturday — also at home — John Lannan will face the Miami Marlins. The first road game comes on Sunday in Jupiter, and Daisuke Matsuzaka will go against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Young phenom Noah Syndergaard will get the ball when the Mets take on the Atlanta Braves Monday at Disney World. The Mets are back home Tuesday, March 4 and Jon Niese will throw against the Houston Astros. Then there’s a split-squad day on Wednesday March 5 — Bartolo Colon will face the Marlins in Port St. Lucie, while an undetermined starter will go against the Nationals in Viera.
C U soon
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