PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — One to another, stories of multiple Tommy John surgeries have littered baseball’s latest landscape. A’s starter Jarrod Parker is the most up-to-date example, headed for a second medical procedures on his right knee. Atlanta’s Kris Medlen is also scheduled for his second operation, as is their teammate Brandon Beachy. San Diego’s Cory Luebke is on the list at the same time.
Recovering from his first — in addition to, he hopes, only — Tommy John surgery, Matt Harvey is doing his best to tune it out.
‘I strive to be on the field more than anybody, even so also know there is a method,’ Harvey said. ‘It is slow-moving. You have to take things very carefully, and everybody’s different. My mind-set is obviously going to be, ‘Come back early, and come back and win.”
With of which in mind, Harvey has busied himself along with his throwing program, making Twenty tosses at 60 foot four times a week. He hopes to increase his throwing length to 75 feet after this week, keeping him on track to climb atop the mound around June. The best goal remains Opening Morning 2015, even if he continues longing hope for a September come back.
‘Everybody’s always going to be so watchful about the recovery, but as competitors, we’re always going to want to have back on the field,’ he said. ‘If the doctors at that point state it’s fine, my mind’s going to be on the baseball industry.’
Before any of that can happen, however, the Mets must determine wherever he will be when camp fails next week. Though players normally rehab at their teams’ Spring Instruction facilities, Harvey lives in New York year-round and possesses expressed a desire to therapy there until he is near returning to the big leagues. MLB’s Joint Bargaining Agreement is upon his side, stipulating that the Mets are not able to force him to train inside Florida for more than 20 times without his written concur.
Ultimately, Harvey and the Mets could come to getting some sort of compromise, perhaps allowing them to rehab in Nyc when the team is at residence, and in Florida when the membership is on the road. Those are discussions the two sides should have over the next week.
‘Obviously, I want to complete what’s best for the organization and also for the rehab, and I think at that point it’s going to be a discussion of where the best place is at certain times to complete things,’ Harvey said, writing that he discussed his protection under the law with the MLB Players Affiliation earlier this month. ‘I don’t want to be in New York for a story. I don’t want to be for sale [the media] all the time. I want to be generally there to support the team, be presently there to learn. And the story is the 25 guys that suit up every day to play.’