Matt Harvey had an encouraging 27-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday with his fastball hitting the low-to-mid 90s, but New York Mets manager Terry Collins is imploring his ace to back off and take it easy.
The Mets have been adamant about not throwing Harvey on the mound at all this season and want him to be ready to go for spring training for the 2015 season.
Despite Harvey’s optimism and confidence in the health of his elbow after Tommy John surgery in October, his bulldog approach that makes him successful on the mound is also resulting in his stubbornness during rehab.
“No. 1, he’s a tremendous competitor,” Collins tells Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. “That being said, he’s a bulldog at the same time. There’s no backing down with Matt Harvey — for anything. He was bound and determined to get ready. We slowed him down. It frustrated him to the max. He’s feeling good.”
“He wants to try to get back here to help,” Collins said about Harvey. “And I explained to him, ‘I understand that. But … you have got to understand the big picture. And the big picture is 2015. So back off.’
Any potential setback could put Harvey’s status for the beginning of the 2015 season in jeopardy and the Mets have already encountered that with rehabbing Jeremy Heffner who may require a second Tommy John operation after a setback this year.
As long as Harvey recognizes the big picture and his importance to the Mets, Collins has no worries.
“I’m not worried about Matt. He’s going to be fine. I know he’s going to be fine,” Collins said.