Matt Harvey will soon take a major step in his rehab from Tommy John surgery.
According to sources, Harvey is tentatively scheduled to throw off the lip of the pitcher's mound, perhaps as soon as Friday. At the latest, he would begin throwing next week.
If all goes according to plan, it would be the first time the Mets righthander has worked off a mound since his surgery last October.
Harvey, 25, has been medically cleared for some time, according to a source. But the Mets have insisted on delaying Harvey's throwing session for fear that his rehab program had progressed too quickly.
Now, Harvey appears to have the green light to throw, even though it remains unlikely that he pitches in the big leagues this season. Instead, the club has focused on having Harvey back at full strength by spring training.
Harvey's dominance highlighted an otherwise dreary 2013 season. In 26 starts before his elbow injury, Harvey went 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA and drew the starting assignment for the NL in the All-Star Game at Citi Field.
With one swing, slugger Lucas Duda stated his case to play more against tough lefties. In the seventh inning of the Mets' 11-2 blowout of the Phillies, Duda lined an RBI single off southpaw Mario Hollands.
"He's bound and determined to show me he can hit lefties so he's out there all the time and that's great, that's exactly what I want him to do," manager Terry Collins said.
Duda is 10-for-60 (.167) against lefties this season.
Batting for himself after the Mets had blown the game open, reliever Jeurys Familia ripped a single to left for his first career RBI. Familia is 2-for-2 this season . . . No. 8 hitter Ruben Tejada was intentionally walked for the 11th time, second in the NL to Giancarlo Stanton (17).