Matt Harvey expected to face hitters on Thursday or Friday

By Danny Abriano

Matt Harvey, who threw a bullpen session on Sunday, is expected to face hitters this coming Thursday or Friday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery in October of 2013.

Harvey reported to Spring Training well in advance of the February 19 reporting date and has been going through his normal routine.

On likely facing hitters on Thursday or Friday, Harvey said the following to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York:

"The main thing is really just focusing on the timing of things. Obviously we’re still a couple of weeks away from game situations. So really getting a hitter in there is just getting the view of having somebody in the box again and getting used to that again."

It was recently reported that Harvey would likely have an innings limit of around 180 this season, though the Mets have stated numerous times whatever limit they come up with will be a soft limit.

In order to get Harvey through the season and have him available for the postseason should the Mets make it, the plan will likely be to limit his innings early on, skip his starts occasionally, and perhaps give him some time off around the time of the All-Star Game.


With Matt Harvey now 16 months post-surgery, he’s cleared nearly every hurdle there is. There are now two left: facing hitters and appearing in a game.

Prior to completing his rehab last season, Harvey hit 95 MPH on the gun. Since then, he has continued the process while gradually dipping further into his repertoire (he threw a few curves on Sunday).

If Harvey faces hitters as expected on Thursday or Friday, his first game appearance will probably come roughly a week after that (the Mets kick off their Grapefruit League schedule on March 4).

There is an expectation from many that Harvey may need a season to round back into form, but a look at players like Stephen Strasburg (2.82 FIP in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery) and Edinson Volquez (whose fastball velocity dipped just 0.1 MPH the year he returned) show that it’s possible to immediately return to being an elite pitcher.

More from New York Mets News