Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland, who was the pitching coach for the Royals during their trips to the World Series in 2014 and 2015, said this version of Matt Harvey would've been the No. 1 starter on those Royals teams.
"That's nothing against the guys we had in Kansas City," Eiland told Kevin Kernan of the NY Post, "but it shows how well Matt is doing."
Earlier during Spring Training, former Braves manager Bobby Cox said Harvey looked like the old version of himself -- and looked like a No. 1.
"He looked like the old Harvey for me. He looked like a No. 1,'' Cox said. "The velocity was really good. He's in great shape. He looked super. ... The velocity and where he put the ball on the black ... Everything was good. It was a great start for me to see that, very, very impressive. I watched him warm up in the bullpen as well, I was super impressed. His mound presence was great."
Harvey has had a very solid spring training, with his fastball ticking up to 96 MPH and his secondary offerings looking as good as they have since 2015.
With what Harvey has gone through -- missing 2014 due to Tommy John surgery, pitching hurt in 2016 followed by Thoracic Outlet surgery, and pitching in 2017 while not fully recovered -- it's fair to temper expectations. But it's also fair to point out that even in 2016 and 2017, when Harvey struggled so mightily, it wasn't about a lack of velocity. It was about a lack of command, mound presence, and confidence.
Harvey, while working to keep his mechanics consistent, has displayed the above so far this spring -- the command, mound presence, and confidence are back. Now, it's a matter of translating that to the regular season.