Matt Harvey shows no rust in his Spring Training debut for the New York Mets


One of the biggest questions for the New York Mets this season is how will Matt Harvey bounce back from Tommy John surgery?

Friday afternoon in Port St. Lucie was a big step in the right direction for Harvey and the Mets, as he was once again back on the mound in a game. Most of the time Spring Training is meaningless, but for Harvey this Spring Training is an important one, as he looks to kick off rust from missing all of last season.

It’s been 559 days since the last “Happy Harvey Day” for Mets fans, but Friday was well worth the wait for them, as any concern about Harvey’s health disappeared for at least one day.

Against the Detroit Tigers, Harvey would pitch two scoreless innings with three strikeouts, as his stuff was impressive. He was able to hit 99mph on his fastball, which was consistently in the upper-90s, and he had his devastating curveball working to perfection.

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In 2013, Harvey took New York City by storm, as he was not only playing great on the field, but was an entertaining figure off of it. Harvey would go on to become one of the best young pitchers in baseball that year, as he had a 9-5 record, 2.27 ERA, 191 strikeouts, and may be most impressively a WHIP of 0.93. The Mets hosted the All-Star Game in 2013, and it would be none other than Harvey as the starter in Citi Field.

Sadly Harvey’s 2013 season was cut short, as he suffered a partially torn UCL ligament that usually requires the dreaded Tommy John surgery for pitchers. It has happened countless times however that when pitchers come back from the surgery they are stronger than ever, and that is a scary thing to think in regards to Harvey, who can light up a radar gun.

Mar 6, 2015; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) throws against against the Detroit Tigers during a spring training baseball game at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Unlike last season, the Mets have expectations this season, and a lot of them depend on Harvey being healthy. The greatest strength on the Mets is their talent and depth in the rotation, and with talk of an innings limit for Harvey; that will be important. If healthy, Harvey has the potential to compete with Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw for the NL Cy Young, and in his own division could see competition from Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals and Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins for the best pitcher in the NL East.

Although it is Spring Training, it’s great to see Matt Harvey back on the hill, and judging by the crowds at the game for his first start back, Mets fans are excited for the return of their best player.

Next: What will the Mets' record be in 2015?

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