Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Thursday morning that RHP Matt Harvey can break the bad mechanical habits that pitching coach Dave Eiland said he got into last season.
"He can definitely fix it," Callaway said. "And a lot of it is confidence, and the ability to go out there and throw the ball where you want to. One of the things that comes along with the issues that he was having physically, is the feel of the baseball. And when you can't feel the baseball the right way, and don't trust that it's gonna go where you want, then you become a more mechanical person, and not be the athlete that you wan't to be. He can definitely fix those bad habits for sure."
Harvey, who returned from Thoracic Outlet surgery last season, couldn't feel his fingers at times in 2016 before the surgery. And was not 100 percent back physically while pitching last season.
The 28-year-old Harvey, who is a free agent after the season, was the subject of trade rumors during the Winter Meetings. And Callaway explained why he and Eiland recommended that the Mets should keep him.
"We looked at a lot of tape," Callaway said. "We really liked where his stuff was coming out at the end of the season. We want the challenge of helping this guy out. He deserves it. And when he's good, the upside is very, very high. And we just knew that if we let this guy go, it's gonna be hard to find another guy with the upside that this kid has. We love the stuff. Our phone calls with Matt at the time were very positive. He seemed like he was in a really good place. And that kind of led to that recommendation."
Callaway also said that he's spoken to players who have returned from Thoracic Outlet Surgery, and that the process can be very long.
"It may be more of an 18-month process before you really start to get that feel back, and that confidence to throw the ball where you want to. It's a tough one to come back from."
Meanwhile, Harvey -- who was labeled The Dark Knight earlier in his career -- doesn't need to be that anymore, according to Callaway.
"He was labeled The Dark Knight. He might never be The Dark Knight again. But the Mets don't need him to be that. His teammates in there don't need him to be The Dark Knight, and the guy he used to be. We need the best version of who Matt is today. And that version is gonna be good enough."
Click below to watch Callaway's full press conference from Thursday...