John Smoltz, who will enter the Hall of Fame next month, sees good things in store for Matt Harvey and Mets rookie Steven Matz, both of whom had the same Tommy John surgery he had.
Smoltz said he was not surprised when Harvey had some erratic starts.
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"You go through periods where your arm is not quite locked in because you're getting used to that ligament," he said Wednesday on a conference call for the American Century Championship golf tournament beginning July 14 in Lake Tahoe. "Matt Harvey came out, [had] been unbelievable the first five, six weeks, goes through a little lull and he's back to being great. That's typically what I've experienced and what I've heard other people experience."
Smoltz liked how Mets manager Terry Collins bucked convention by letting Matz throw more than 100 pitches in his debut last Sunday.
"That's what I love about Steven Matz and what he was able to do," Smoltz said. "Everyone had a big gasp because he went in the eighth inning. So what? He had a hundred pitches. He was mechanically sound, he was throwing the ball good.
"We're not developing pitchers the right way to learn how to do their craft. We're asking them to go as hard as they can, as short as you can and that's good enough. You can't blame them, but they're not expected to do what the guys before us did."
Matz's surgery used the docking technique, which Dr. James Andrews described as "just another way of fixing the ligament up in the medial epicondyle in the humerus. It's an excellent way of doing it, it depends on how you were trained, Chevy versus a Ford basically. It's a very good operation, a popular way of doing it as this point."
Andrews would not comment on some postoperative pain experienced by Matz, who had consulted Andrews but had the surgery performed by Mets team physician David Altchek. The Mets did not make Altchek available for comment.