WASHINGTON — Just as he did in the World Series, Mets manager Terry Collins heeded Matt Harvey’s words. Despite his struggles, the righthander remained in the starting rotation, putting him in line to start against the Nationals on Tuesday night after getting pounded by Washington last Thursday.
“My expectations are that he takes what he did the other day on the side in that BP session and takes it on the mound and not worry too much about locating,” Collins said. “Hey, throw it. Get out there and throw it. If he throws the ball like he’s capable of, he’ll get us through some innings.”
Harvey allowed nine runs (six earned) in 2 2⁄3 innings in a 9-1 loss to the Nationals last week. He is 3-6 with a 5.77 ERA, but the Mets remain convinced that his issues stem from rattled confidence, not a physical problem.
Zack Wheeler threw off the pitching rubber for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery on March 25, 2015, according to a source. The righthander threw 10 fastballs with no issues, a key step in his rehab.
Wheeler had thrown off the slope of the mound as early as spring training, but until Monday, he hadn’t yet thrown off the rubber. Assistant general manager John Ricco said Wheeler soon could be throwing full bullpen sessions. The Mets still are targeting an early July return date.
Travis d’Arnaud (right rotator cuff strain) is expected to resume baseball activities at the team’s complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida, sometime in the middle of this week, Ricco said. The catcher will throw again in California, where he has been working with his personal trainer, and if he’s pain-free, he will travel to Florida.
To make room for switch-hitting utilityman Ty Kelly on the 40-man roster, lefthanded reliever Dario Alvarez was designated for assignment. Kelly, a 27-year-old minor-league veteran, was hitting .391 at Triple-A Las Vegas to earn his first big-league promotion.