By John Delcos
Photo Credit: Getty Images
For New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey, the long and grueling rehab road on the anniversary of his Tommy John surgery took another step when he began his throwing program.
Officially, it was 20 throws on flat ground from 60 feet away to bullpen catcher Dave Racaniello.
Harvey underwent surgery, Oct. 22, after giving up on his plan to treat the injury with rest in an attempt to be ready this season.
Harvey described the procedure to reporters Saturday as using a tendon from his right wrist and wrapping it around his elbow three times.
``It was awesome,’’ Harvey told reporters. ``I know it was 20 throws at 60 feet, but everything felt absolutely amazing. I’ve got a lot of work to do. It’s going to be a tough process [even] with how things felt today. But I’ve got to stick with it and move forward.’’
The plan for Harvey, who went 9-5 (but with over 10 no-decisions last summer), is to throw three times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) for now.
Each non-throw day is also important because it allows the trainers to see how the elbow responds to the throwing.
Harvey’s reputation is that of trying to push the envelope, which he acknowledged he must resist.
``There’s a little guy in the back of my head saying, ‘Don’t go too strong.’ He’s usually the one who’s right,’’ Harvey said. ``Obviously feeling good and as competitive as I am, I always wanted to push more. But ‘Jiminy Cricket’ was telling me, 'no' in the back of my head.’’
Harvey said he’s like to pitch this year, but added that sentiment was the competitor in him surfacing. Harvey did acknowledge he agreed with general manager Sandy Alderson’s assertion he not be a focus this year.
Harvey conceded this was simply the first day in a long process.
***John Delcos has covered Major League Baseball for over 20 years, including the Mets and Yankees since 1998. He is a Hall of Fame voter and owns and operates a Mets website, New York Mets Report.com