Four months removed from undergoing Tommy John surgery in late October, the New York Mets have given clearance to right-hander Matt Harvey to start throwing a baseball again. Team doctor David Altchek reportedly gave the 24 year old the news early Thursday, according to Adam Rubin at ESPN New York.
Altchek said everything was fine and basically that I can start throwing. So I don’t know exactly which date that is, but in the next couple of days. That was obviously good news for me.
Harvey wasn’t expected to be able to pick up a ball until around this point, so by all indications he is on schedule in his recovery. Rubin notes that he’ll likely begin a throwing program in the coming days, but the expectation is that the team will start him out slowly. Jeremy Hefner, who underwent the same procedure as Harvey two months earlier, just started his throwing program on Monday.
Harvey has been vocal since arriving at the team’s Spring Training complex last week, stating a desire to travel with the team during the 2014 season as he recovers from the torn ligament in his elbow. Typical team protocol would prohibit such a move – they’d prefer he remained at their camp in Florida to continue his rehab, rather than sit in the dugout during games in New York – and it remains unlikely that Harvey’s request will be granted.
The organization has also expressed a desire to keep Harvey on the sidelines for the entirety of the 2014 season, but that decision will likely remain open as they monitor his progress in the coming months.
2013 was Harvey’s first full season in the Mets’ rotation, making 26 starts and throwing 178.1 IP on the year with a 2.27 ERA, 0.931 WHIP, 9.6 K/9, and 1.6 BB/9. He’s a key piece of the team’s future starting rotation (alongside Zack Wheeler and eventually Noah Syndergaard) and there is zero reason for the Mets to rush Harvey back into the mix.