Mets pitcher Joey Lucchesi walks to the dugout after coming out...

Mets pitcher Joey Lucchesi walks to the dugout after coming out of the game during the sixth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field on Saturday, May 8, 2021. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

MIAMI — It’s almost time to add a familiar name to the Mets’ pitching depth conversation.

On the first anniversary of his Tommy John surgery, Joey Lucchesi said Friday he is aiming to return to the majors in early or mid-August. The rehabilitation process has been “pretty solid,” he added, and he’ll advance to facing hitters next week.

Lucchesi, a 29-year-old lefthander, has mostly been a starting pitcher in his career but last year dabbled pitching out of the Mets’ bullpen.

“Not that he’s forgotten, but he’s got a chance to help us,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s making good progress. We’re excited about getting him back as an option.”

Lucchesi has been based at the Mets’ complex in Port St. Lucie. With the major-league team relatively close this weekend, they decided to have him join, giving him a chance to change it up.  

“It’s actually really nice to get away from the spring training complex, basically check up on my arm, Hef [pitching coach Jeremy Hefner] can get his eyes on me, get some mechanic info and insight. I’m feeling good,” Lucchesi said. “Being back in the big-league culture kind of gives me that heartbeat. It gets my heart going again.”

While out of sight, Lucchesi has learned multiple new pitches to go with his fastball and signature “churve,” he said.

 

“Hopefully come back with a new arsenal,” he said. “I don’t want to say anything [specifically]. I’ll say it when I’m back. Keep it fresh.”