<
>

Matt Harvey on board with Mets' plan

NEW YORK -- Right-hander Matt Harvey insists he is "completely on board" with the front office's plan to limit his innings during the regular season so he can pitch deep into October without reaching an innings cap if the New York Mets remain alive.

Harvey is on track to return to the majors from the get-go in 2015 after missing all of this past season recovering from Tommy John surgery. He underwent the procedure on Oct. 22, 2013.

Harvey has been throwing on flat ground at Citi Field six days a week despite temperatures reaching as low as the mid-30s. He plans to resume throwing off a mound in about two weeks for the first time since the regular season.

After spending January at agent Scott Boras' complex in Newport Beach, California, Harvey plans to report early to spring training -- about Feb. 1. If the team signs off, Harvey will face batters for the first time since the surgery upon arriving in Florida.

Harvey said the one pitch he will wait to throw until late in spring training is his slider. He is cleared to use all other pitches.

He had touched 95 mph during a throwing session off the mound at Citi Field in September before an offseason hiatus in his throwing program.

General manager Sandy Anderson recently indicated that Harvey will have a "soft cap" on his innings next season. Alderson nonetheless pledged to avoid a repeat of what happened in 2012 with the Washington Nationals, when Stephen Strasburg in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery was shut down in early September and did not participate in the postseason.

"You know what? I'm going to be happy to throw an entire year," Harvey said Wednesday, after participating in a coat drive at Citi Field. "Whatever they decide, it's in the best interests of both the team and me moving forward. I can't wait to throw every five days and just be healthy for a full season.

"Looking forward, if you were to map out a whole season, you're going to have to figure out some changes throughout the year in order to get to a certain point. I mean, if you make 33 starts and seven innings a start, obviously doing the math that's over what I'm probably going to throw."

Harvey added that he's gratified that his innings will be restricted in the regular season rather than the postseason.

"We fight so hard during the regular season to make the playoffs," he said. "Obviously, everybody who's going to be playing is going to have the playoffs on your mind. The last thing I would want to do is have to sit on my hands ... [and] not be able to pitch in the postseason. Whatever needs to be done to get us there, I'm all for. And whatever they decide for that whole process, I'm completely on board."

In order to keep Harvey eligible to pitch in the postseason, and to keep his innings count well under 200, Alderson has suggested Harvey will have turns skipped during the regular season. Harvey also may have a two-week shutdown during the summer, which worked well this past season in rejuvenating right-hander Jacob deGrom en route to the National League Rookie of the Year Award.

"As of now, realistically, throwing 200 innings in the regular season is probably not likely," Harvey said. "But because of the 17-month recovery time [from surgery], we can kind of manage things a little bit differently than Strasburg did obviously with his return."