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Matt Harvey talks health, six-man rotation possibility

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Mar 30, 2016; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) delivers a pitch in the first inning during a spring training game against the Washington Nationals at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 30, 2016; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) delivers a pitch in the first inning during a spring training game against the Washington Nationals at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
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Harvey looks to bounce back from 2016 season cut short due to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

Mets starter Matt Harvey threw a bullpen session and spoke with the media on Monday as he looks to rebound from an injury-plagued 2016.

Harvey had Thoracic Outlet Syndrome surgery which ended his year after a 4-10 mark with a 4.86 ERA in 17 starts.

Harvey told reporters that he feels great after being able to go through a routine offseason throwing program. He also documented parts of his recovery including a point where he lost feeling in his hand after receiving a nerve block.

The words are encouraging and they’re in lockstep with the first pages of the 2017 season. Pitchers and catchers around the league, save for a handful of teams, have already reported as of Monday.

In his career, Harvey has flashed his great potential to be a front-line starter year in and year out. On the flip side, injuries have provided setbacks for the soon-to-be 28-year-old.

One other question that was addressed by Harvey was the prospect of a six-man rotation:

"“I think it’s a long way away to think about. Whatever they decide is not going to happen on February 13. We’re concentrating on staying healthy being down here and just getting spring training going.”"

A six-man rotation has become a hotter topic with the number of pitchers recovering from offseason surgery and the depth the Mets possess. It’s very unlikely that we’ll see a six-man rotation right from the start, but that’s something that could certainly be revisited depending on how the season is progressing.

The biggest question is what effect the type of surgery Harvey is coming back from has on him.

TOS has become more common in the past few years and several pitchers have already gone through the procedure and recovery. It’s been a mixed bag of results on the field post-TOS and Harvey is one of the younger pitchers to receive the surgery.

Next: Mets will have open competition for fifth starter job

In all, cautious optimism may be the most applicable term. Mets fans know how dominant Harvey can be, but the outlying factors pose questions that will be answered for certain once Harvey steps on the mound in spring training and regular season games.

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