Eddie C’s Mets Notebook: Matt Harvey Is Ready For 2015 — And Beyond

By Ed Coleman
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Matt Harvey is ready.  Ready for the 2015 regular season and the playoffs that follow in October.  Now all he and the Mets have to do is figure out how to get there.

Harvey met the media on Tuesday and declared himself “completely on board” with the Mets’ plan to limit his innings during the season in order to have him available for the postseason, should he and his teammates land there.  To say that Harvey is stubborn by nature would be a major understatement.  He wanted very much to pitch last year, but he was shut down and the decision taken out of his hands.  It ended up being precisely the proper thing to do.

It’s difficult, sometimes, to take the practical or sensible approach. But Harvey now realizes that sitting out the whole year was the best decision both for him and the team.

So how do you map out and manage an innings limit for your competitive ace while trying to balance the short-term with the long-term goal of being a playoff contender — not just next year, but for many years to come?

Harvey referred to Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg, who was held out of the postseason by Washington because he had reached his innings limit.  The way Harvey normally pitches  — seven innings or more over 30 starts — pushes you past the 200-inning mark in just the regular season, so the numbers do not compute.

But right now, at least, Harvey is just happy to feel as good as he does as he goes through his daily routines and throwing.

The bottom line is this: If the Mets do indeed make the postseason, there is no way that Harvey will not take part in it.  So whatever has to be done during the season to ensure that, he’s amenable to it.

Harvey said he’s been working out at Citi Field six days a week. And no, he’s not throwing inside where it’s warm and comfy.

The only pitch that he hasn’t thrown is the slider, and he probably won’t throw it until the tail end of spring training.  The next big step is to throw off a mound, so when does he think that will occur?

You can sometimes learn a lot about yourself when going through adversity, so what did more than a year away from the game he loves to play teach the hard-throwing right-hander?

And, finally, does Harvey have anything to say to Mets fans who — like him — are anxiously awaiting next season?

For now, at least, Harvey is “on board” with the organization’s plan for 2015.  When there’s a big August series on tap with a lot at stake and he’s asked to sit out and take a pass, we’ll see how “on board” he is then.  His competitive personality will undoubtedly take over, and an adjustment will have to be made.  If the Mets are indeed steaming towards the postseason, maybe even Harvey can sit back and enjoy the rest with a smile.

C U soon
Eddie C.

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