After a quiet spring training working on his mechanics and watching this team develop under a new manager, Matt Harvey was ready to make a bold prediction. Coming off a disastrous 2017, on the final day of spring training, the Mets righthander said this team is going to “shock some people.”
Harvey, who pitched three innings against Jacob deGrom in a simulated game Monday afternoon, said he thinks this Mets team will be “really good.”
“The sky’s the limit. The biggest thing is staying healthy and we all are right now and at least for the most part, we’re gonna be really good,” Harvey said. “I think we’re going to shock a lot of people and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Of course, that will depend on Harvey and the rest of the rotation staying healthy.
“Just the depth of the starting staff we have going out there, see the lineup we’re putting out there, guys are going to get hot, we’re going to score a lot of runs and hopefully keep a lot of runs off the board,” Harvey said. “Everybody is doing their job to stay healthy, not like we haven’t been in the past, but definitely a lot more so this year.”
That’s why Harvey and the Mets are optimistic heading into the season. After years of battling back from two major surgeries, Harvey says he has felt healthy all spring and accomplished what he set out to heading into the season.
“Just continuously sticking to my mechanics, progressively working up to the number of pitches I did in my last start,” Harvey said. “And feeling from pitch one to pitch 90 that I was smooth and easy and getting the ball out repeating my delivery, which I’ve been very happy with.”
DeGrom, who had a slight setback this spring when he reported a tight lower back, also went three innings. He is optimistic about this team, which won just 70 games last season, as well.
“I am excited. Everybody is excited,” deGrom said. “You see how much fun guys are having, we are ready to get this season started, so we can go out there and really show what we can do.”
That is what first-year manager Mickey Callaway was hoping his team would take away from this spring.
“I think he’s right,” Callaway said of Harvey’s suggestion they would shock some people.” We have the personnel; we have everything in place right now, going into the season that we want. Obviously the guy who hit the homer (in Monday’s simulated game, Michael Conforto) is coming back soon. We’re in a really good spot.”
Part of the program this spring was not just keeping their bodies healthy, but rebuilding the confidence that they had in 2015 after a disastrous 92-loss 2017 season. Callaway sees an edge in this team that he likes.
“I think they feel like they have something to prove, because things didn’t go their way last year,” Callaway said. “When you get a team full of guys that have really good talent and they work hard and they feel like they have something to prove then you can go do something special and shock some people.
“That’s where we’re at.”