Who wouldn’t like to see Matt Harvey return to the New York Mets this season? Despite words of caution from his doctors, Mets management and even opponents such as Washington’s Stephen Strasburg, Harvey seems bent on wanting to pitch this season.
This morning, Harvey used Twitter and wrote: Harvey day will happen.
Every time I hear from Harvey about wanting to pitch this year I’m not overwhelmed by excitement as much as I am apprehension as it is never good to force an injury.
Strasburg warned Harvey through the media to take his time in his rehab, and to not look too far into the future. Strasburg said to treat his rehabilitation in chunks, and measure progress not in daily increments because there will be setbacks.
Right now we’re in March and Harvey is throwing four times a week, and off flat ground – currently 20 throws at 60 feet.
The Mets have a rough timetable at best for Harvey, because they’ve accepted the possibility of setbacks. Above all, the next step is contingent on how he responds to the last one.
Meanwhile, Harvey is forecasting what he wants to happen in September, giving the impression he’s oblivious to the rigors and grind of the rehabilitation process.
There are times he appears to pay lip service to this, for example, when he threw for the first time on Feb. 22, he said: “I’ve got a lot of work to do. It’s going to be a tough process [even] with how things felt today. But I’ve got to stick with it and move forward.’’
At the time, Harvey acknowledged his competitive nature and conceded, “I always wanted to push more.’’
When he does that, he fast-forwards months, making him vulnerable to pride and ego.
Don’t think it can’t happen?
Earlier this week, former Met Johan Santana, signed a minor league contract with Baltimore. It was only last spring when Santana disregarded a throwing program the Mets formatted and in a fit, responding to comments made by GM Sandy Alderson, threw off the mound and aggravated his shoulder injury.
He never threw another pitch for the Mets, but did collect all of the $137.5 million owed him.
Santana wasn’t cautious, and let his pride get the better of him. Will the same happen with Harvey? Nobody knows, including Harvey.
If the Mets lay down the law and say Harvey won’t pitch this year regardless, then that might be the thing to do. It would eliminate the risk.
Because, the way it sounds, if left unchecked Harvey might just push the envelope too far and never have the opportunity to sign a $137.5 million contract.
That would be a shame, because it would mean the career we all hope to enjoy will not have come to pass.