Matt Harvey "felt fine'' after throwing 15 pitches Friday, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said, and will begin a throwing program Tuesday in Florida.
All reasons for optimism. But the Mets, manager Terry Collins reiterated, "aren't counting on anything out of him'' this season.
Harvey threw "off the slope of the mound in the bullpen'' and said he was pain-free, Alderson told reporters before Friday night's game.
"We kept him to about 60 percent,'' Collins said, describing the intensity of the bullpen session. "We know he's feeling great, but we're keeping him at a fairly slow pace.''
Harvey, recovering from Tommy John surgery, is expected to spend the majority of the next two months at the Mets' complex in Port St. Lucie. He will throw about 20 pitches on Tuesday and, if all goes well, throw again Aug. 9.
Said Alderson, "I think his program will start in earnest down in Florida. We have a program worked out that gets him roughly through the end of September.''
The plan, Alderson said, is for Harvey to continue rehabbing "maybe into the first week of October,'' then be shut down until spring training. He will not participate in winter ball nor will he pitch in the majors this season, regardless of his progress.
"The key is getting him up to a level where he's comfortable going into spring training in 2015,'' Alderson said. "We've said all along that it's unlikely he'll pitch for us this season.''
The Mets will consider allowing Harvey to make one start in the Arizona Fall League.
Harvey, an All-Star last year, had a 2.27 ERA and struck out 191 in 1781/3 innings, but his season was cut short in August when he suffered a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He had surgery in October.