Mets RHP Matt Harvey, who dealt with serious injury issues in 2016 and 2017, is aiming to again be the dominant pitcher he was in 2013 and 2015.
"Going in to this year, I strive to be better than I was before," Harvey said on Thursday morning while speaking for the first time since last season. "There's no reason why I can't. I'm still 28, 29 years old. There's a lot left in the tank. I'm ready to go, I'm excited. The ball is coming out better than it has in a long time. I'm just excited."
Harvey returned from Thoracic Outlet surgery last season, and also dealt with an injury to his scapula that kept him out of action from June 15 to Sept. 2. And Harvey said he might have tried to do too much too soon.
"Looking back, I don't know if I pushed too much too early, or didn't communicate enough with the training staff or the coaches," he said. "And kind of put myself in a bad position to perform. When you've had success and you want to continue success and help the team as much as you can. ... when your body just doesn't let you do that, it really becomes tough. The more work I was putting in, the worse I was getting. And that was becoming really frustrating."
Harvey said he benefited from a normal offseason, including strength training and workouts, and that everything is back to normal.
"Getting nerves fully back takes a long time. ... I was pushing through those nerve issues."
New Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland said Wednesday that Harvey had gotten into some bad mechanical habits, which Harvey is working to fix. And new Manager Mickey Callaway elaborated on Thursday on the reasons why he and Eiland wanted the Mets to keep Harvey -- which was not lost on the right-hander.
"Any time your manager and your pitching coach are fighting to keep you on the team. ... it's definitely a confidence-booster," Harvey said. "That made me work a little bit harder."
"There's a lot I want to prove," Harvey concluded. "And a lot I have left to do."
Watch Harvey's full scrum with reporters below...