Yesterday, Matt Harvey threw a bullpen session at the Mets Spring Training complex in Port St. Lucie.
After his bullpen, Harvey spoke with Jorge Castillo of the Star Ledger, and said:
“Now it’s time to win games. Now it’s time to do everything you can to keep the team within winning distance. My job’s not to get to the big leagues anymore. My job’s to win.”
John Buck caught Harvey’s bullpen session yesterday and told Castillo he intends to work with Harvey to “hone down” his pitches.
“If you get up there as a power pitcher and just aimlessly throw pitches, sometimes, as a hitter, you can wait on that,” Buck explained. “But if he uses his stuff effectively in those power situations, then you’re not only being a power pitcher, you’re keeping the hitters off-balance.”
Michael Baron, ContributorIt’s hard not to get pumped up after listening to Harvey speak. He has one goal, and that is to win, and to win at a high level. Since he was drafted, Harvey has had this tremendous focus and concentration on pitching and evolving into a winning player. He studies and critiques himself seemingly on a pitch-by-pitch basis. His drive, focus, and determination can only enhance his physical talent, as it can help create an intimidating mound presence for years to come.
As for Buck, I get the sense he is going to be more than a placeholder for Travis d’Arnaud; he has an idea of how he can help Harvey, Johan Santana and the rest of the pitching staff become better, and he intends to offer anything he can in order to make them more successful. That has a ton of value which doesn’t necessarily get that much attention. In a way, he presents a leadership quality the battery in general has lacked over the years – the Mets haven’t had a quality veteran, Major League catcher since Paul Lo Duca left, and I think the Mets have missed the kind of catching presence Buck could bring to the table.