Optimistic was the word of the day for the Mets regarding pitchers Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. Despite losing both of their split-squad games Friday, the Mets had to be encouraged from what they got from Harvey and Wheeler, both of whom are recovering from surgery.
Hit in his first start, Harvey gave up only one run in their 7-6 loss to Houston. In their other game, Wheeler, who hasn’t pitched in nearly two years, gave up a run in two innings in the Mets’ 5-2 loss to the Braves.
Harvey topped out at 92 mph., but insisted he’ll reach the upper 90s before the end of spring training.
“Definitely an improvement from the first one,” Harvey, who pitched with a stiff neck, told reporters. “I think it’s just a matter of time before things click and mechanics click, timing clicks. But I think overall it was definitely a plus. … It’s nice to go up there and throw 97 to 100 mph. or whatnot, but you need to figure out how to pitch. It’s been awhile since I’ve been in a competition like that, so for me, I think it’s a matter of time.”
Velocity isn’t the issue for Harvey. It is command and movement on his pitches. It is also working in his slider and change-up, which he did today.
Harvey is approaching his recovery with the right mindset. Eventually, he’ll throw harder, but he’s right in saying there’s time and the most important thing is to get back to pitching.
Harvey is currently slotted third or fourth in the rotation, but Wheeler will likely open the season in an extended spring training. That is the presumption considering he’s on an innings limit of 110.
Wheeler, who underwent Tommy John surgery in March of 2015, had a simple objective.
“As long as I came out of this healthy today, that was my No. 1 goal,” Wheeler told reporters. “I’ve been going through this for two years now, so whatever happened, happened. I got a strikeout and gave up a home run. All of that really doesn’t matter right now. I’m just glad I’m healthy right now.”