Hefner threw 15 pitches from the slope of the mound, and is set to do so again – while upping his pitch total to 20 – this coming Saturday.
While having a solid campaign as a starter for the Mets last summer, the 28-year-old Hefner began to experience discomfort in his elbow and his results suffered.
After the tear in Hefner’s UCL was discovered, he underwent surgery rather than attempting to first rehab the injury.
If Hefner’s recovery stays on course, it’s possible that he’ll return to the majors prior to the end of the 2014 season.
Hefner finished 2013 with a 4.34 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 130.2 innings pitched, but his numbers were negatively impacted by struggles during the last string of starts he made before his torn UCL was diagnosed.
Hefner should be in the conversation for a spot on the 25-man roster in 2015.
However, with Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, Bartolo Colon, Jacob deGrom, and Rafael Montero all currently on the club, it’s highly unlikely that Hefner will be used in the big league starting rotation.
If he makes the big league roster in 2015, Hefner will likely serve as a long-man out of the bullpen. If he doesn’t, he’ll probably find himself in the starting rotation for Triple-A Las Vegas.