For the first time in over a year, the imposing figure that is Matt Harvey graced the Citi Field mound. The 26-year-old took the final steps of a painful and laborious 2014 season full of rehabilitation and "will he or won't he pitch?" innuendo on Monday afternoon under the watchful eyes of manager Terry Collins, pitching coach Dan Warthen, and general manager Sandy Alderson. The session is expected to be his last off a mound until spring training.
Despite being told not to go full-bore, Harvey nonetheless touched 95 mph with his fastball and threw all of his pitches except for his slider, which he was instructed not to unleash. Although Harvey had been outspoken in his desire to return to the major leagues in 2014, Alderson repeatedly squashed that idea, instead staying the course with the organization's strategy.
"Everything we were trying to accomplish this season has been accomplished. From our standpoint, we wanted to make sure that he was physically back to a level that would ensure he wasn't behind in spring training. And then secondly, he needed to be back to a state, mentally, where he felt comfortable going into next season and any uncertainty had been eliminated. We feel we're at that point."
According to Alderson, the Mets will map out a specific plan that includes limitations for Harvey as he enters 2015, preferring to rein him in earlier in the season as opposed to later.