NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Matt Harvey is a tremendous talent.
He can also cause one heck of a headache.
New York Mets manager Terry Collins set the right-hander straight on Thursday: forget about returning this season. It’s not happening. End of story.
“You’ve got to understand, it’s the big picture,” Collins said he told Harvey. “And the big picture is 2015. So back off.”
The 25-year-old has been open about his desire to return early from Tommy John surgery, even though the Mets’ plans have been on the conservative side since he went under the knife in October.
Spooked by a major setback to Jeremy Hefner following the same surgery, general manager Sandy Alderson said Tuesday that Harvey might have to reassess his expectations. Things were going to slow down.
The next day, Harvey threw hard during a 27-pitch bullpen session in Port St. Lucie. Then he went on the radio to talk about it.
“Unless I’m standing next to him, I can’t control it,” said Collins, who couldn’t get the pitcher on the phone Wednesday because of the aforementioned interview. “It’s impossible. This guy will hire somebody to go throw on the side. That’s just how he is. I said, ‘You’ve got to be smart about this. And by the way, stop doing radio shows during the ballgame telling everybody you’re throwing 95. That isn’t going to help us up here.’ ”
Collins said all sides are now “settled” with the plan. But we’ve heard that before.
“I’m not worried about Matt. He’s going to be fine,” Collins said. “He’s going to get through the process. He’s not going to pitch this year. I’m settled with that. He’s settled with that. And I’ve just told him, ‘You’ve got to take a look at the big picture and you’ve got to be careful what you’re doing and what you’re saying, because you have to be here next year. We can’t afford to have what happened to Jeremy happen to you.’
“Now, does he get it? You’d have to ask him. I mean, I can’t answer that for him. I just trust him. I just trust him that he gets it. So we’ll see.”
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