Matt Harvey On WFAN: 'Spring Training Can't Come Quick Enough'
NEW YORK (WFAN) -- The countdown is on.
In less than three months, New York Mets ace Matt Harvey will unleash the cannon at 100 percent for the first time since August 2013.
"Spring training can't come quick enough for me," Harvey said Tuesday on WFAN's "Boomer & Carton" show.
Harvey, who underwent Tommy John surgery last October, thinks it's too early to tell what sort of velocity he'll have in his repaired right arm. He was clocked at 95 mph during a workout in September.
The 25-year-old said his elbow "feels normal" and he plans to resume throwing off a mound "sometime in December."
"My whole goal is to be able to face hitters in February as soon as I get down to Florida," Harvey said. "From what I've just heard, I think February 19 is report day for pitchers and catchers for us. I haven't faced any hitters. I haven't done any batting practice. So I think for me, getting down there, beginning of February, and being ready to go right away to get some hitters in there would be obviously my goal."
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The Mets, after playing Harvey's recovery safe despite his wishes to return in 2014, could put an innings limit on the right-hander. It seems they'll get creative with his playing time, as general manager Sandy Alderson recently stressed "smart decisions" but shut down any talk of a late-season shutdown.
Harvey -- who went 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA and 191 strikeouts in 178.1 innings before an elbow tear ended his 2013 campaign -- will instantly become the centerpiece of a rotation loaded with talent, including young fireballer Zack Wheeler and Rookie of the Year winner Jacob deGrom.
New York's lineup is also taking shape with the addition of Michael Cuddyer. Harvey said he spoke with the veteran slugger, who is "all fired up" to join the Amazin's.
"We're looking forward to it," Harvey said. "He's definitely a good piece to the puzzle."
Harvey also touched on the dimensions at Citi Field, saying the new fences in right-center field shouldn't negatively impact the pitching staff.
"For us, if you throw three guys out there throwing 95-plus, I think hitting a ball out there, you're going to have to absolutely crush it anyway," he said.
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