PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Matt Harvey received the news he was waiting for on Wednesday, when doctors cleared him to begin throwing a baseball for the first time since Tommy John surgery.
Harvey, who underwent surgery on Oct. 22, expects to begin throwing in a few days, according to pitching coach Dan Warthen. Through a team spokesman, the right-hander declined comment on the latest step in his recovery, as did general manager Sandy Alderson.
It was just one of many hurdles that Harvey must clear in his aim to return by Opening Day 2015. Once Harvey begins throwing off flat ground, he will gradually increase the distance until he is ready to pitch off a mound. He will then increase the intensity of those sessions until he is ready to pitch in games.
Teammate Jeremy Hefner's Tommy John rehab program requires him to reach 150 feet off flat ground before climbing atop a mound, and Harvey's will likely be similar.
Though Harvey hopes to contribute to the Mets as soon as September, the organization does not realistically expect him back until next year.
"If things can work out quicker than normal, then we'll see," Harvey said last weekend. "But I can't make that call."
Mets players set for physicals, first full-squad workout
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Mets expect all 64 of their players to be in camp Friday morning, when position players are scheduled to undergo their routine physicals.
As of late Thursday afternoon, only shortstop Wilfredo Tovar had yet to report. Mets pitchers and catchers all reported last week and have been working out as a team since Monday. Position players will join them for the club's first full-squad workout this Saturday.
The Mets' first Grapefruit League game is Feb. 28 against the Nationals.
Grandy gives Duda some tips during batting practice
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- When the Mets signed Curtis Granderson to a four-year contract this offseason, they lauded his character as much as his playing ability.
Already, the reasons why are becoming clear. Earlier this week, Granderson ate lunch in the middle of the clubhouse with a group of three Minor Leaguers, instead of retreating into a back room as most of the Mets' highest-profile veterans typically do. Thursday, Granderson took time out of his batting-practice session to give Lucas Duda pointers.
"We were just talking about situational hitting," Duda said, noting that the pull-prone Granderson regularly sprays balls to the opposite field during batting practice. "How to hit with the bases loaded, two outs, that sort of thing."
Duda, as he usually does in spring, proceeded to put on a batting-practice show, spraying balls onto a pedestrian walkway beyond Field 7. Ike Davis also drew cheers from the crowd during his session.