Piazza embracing Cooperstown experience

Electee grateful to spend time with Hall of Famers before Sunday's induction

Piazza embracing Cooperstown experience

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Set off from Cooperstown's main drag by a cluster of picturesque streets on one side, from Otsego Lake by a rich green lawn on the other, Otesaga Hotel is this weekend's social center for Baseball Hall of Famers. That includes Hall of Fame-elect Mike Piazza, who has just hours to go before his induction into Cooperstown at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, with coverage beginning on MLB Network and MLB.com at 11 a.m.

Piazza was whiling away some hours at the hotel lounge on Thursday night when a group of Hall of Famers in attendance told him he had to perform. Piazza picked up a pair of drumsticks and started playing with the band. No, the Hall of Famers told him. Sing. So Piazza attempted to channel his inner Jon Bon Jovi.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reyes shows ability to wreak havoc at top of lineup

Mets infielder collects three hits, two runs scored, stolen base, RBI in win

Reyes shows ability to wreak havoc at top of lineup

MIAMI -- A Mets offense that has struggled for much of the season caught a glimpse Friday night of the many ways it can score when Jose Reyes is wreaking havoc atop the lineup.

Reyes scored two of New York's five runs and drove in another to help the Mets defeat the Marlins, 5-3, at Marlins Park. The third baseman finished 3-for-5, marking his first three-hit performance of 2016.

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Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Awe in the Familia: Met streak elite at 50

Closer becomes just 4th player in history to notch 50 straight regular-season saves

Awe in the Familia: Met streak elite at 50

MIAMI -- It might not have been as easy as most, but Jeurys Familia locked down his 50th consecutive regular-season save in the Mets' 5-3 win over the Marlins on Friday night at Marlins Park.

Familia's streak, which dates to Aug. 1 of last year, is now the fourth-longest streak in Major League history after breaking a tie with John Axford's 49 straight saves from 2011-12.

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Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reyes the spark as Mets gain on Marlins

Reyes the spark as Mets gain on Marlins

MIAMI -- The jockeying for position in the National League East got a little tighter on Friday night as the Mets moved to within a half-game of the second-place Marlins with a 5-3 win at Marlins Park. The intensity was evident all night, and the Mets responded behind Jose Reyes' three hits, two runs scored and an RBI, a pair of Yoenis Cespedes sacrifice flies and James Loney's two-run homer in the ninth.

Reyes started the decisive rally with a single to lead off the seventh, and he scored the go-ahead run on Cespedes' fly ball to center off David Phelps. The Marlins' bullpen had a streak of 16 1/3 scoreless innings going before Cespedes' sac fly. The Mets are now 51-44, while the Marlins are 52-44.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Mets on Friday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Aces up: deGrom, Fernandez set for premier duel

Aces up: deGrom, Fernandez set for premier duel

With their respective teams neck and neck for second place in the National League East and a Wild Card spot, Jose Fernandez and Jacob deGrom will toe the rubber in the second game of a three-game series between the Marlins and Mets on Saturday night at Marlins Park.

Both young aces are coming off career starts. Fernandez (11-4, 2.53 ERA) became the fastest starting pitcher to reach 500 career strikeouts in his last start, fanning a career-high-tying 14 Phillies over 6 1/3 innings. He needed just 400 innings to achieve the milestone.

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Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wheeler's next step is facing live batters

Mets righty throws fastballs, curveballs, changeups in bullpen session Friday

Wheeler's next step is facing live batters

MIAMI -- Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler hopes to face live batters in the near future after he threw a 30-pitch bullpen session in front of Mets coaches at Marlins Park on Friday.

Wheeler mixed in fastballs, curveballs and a few changeups in the session. He admitted his elbow is a bit off right now, but it felt fine during the session.

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Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Piazza's induction to hold special place with Mets fans

First Amazin' to get Hall call since Seaver could also be only one for some time

Piazza's induction to hold special place with Mets fans

NEW YORK -- It has been 24 years since Tom Seaver entered the Hall of Fame, the first player in franchise history to have his Mets cap bronzed. Other prominent Mets have entered the Hall with different caps, including Gary Carter, Nolan Ryan and Willie Mays. But in the years since Seaver, the Mets have never come particularly close to adding another Hall of Famer they could truly call their own.

Now Mike Piazza is set to enter the Hall on Sunday, with coverage beginning on MLB Network and MLB.com at 11 a.m. ET, and the Hall of Fame induction ceremony starting live at 1:30. He has spoken often about the tug he felt as an adopted New Yorker, which made a Mets cap on his plaque the obvious choice to a complicated decision.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

10 GIFs that show off the majesty of Piazza's HOF career

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10 GIFs that show off the majesty of Piazza's HOF career

Mike Piazza, along with Ken Griffey Jr., will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday. Coverage begins at 11 a.m. ET on MLB Network and MLB.com, and you'll be able to see the ceremony there. But what was it truly like to watch Piazza play? From milestones to mustaches, here's Piazza in essential 10 GIFs.

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Piazza leaves strong impression on d'Arnaud

Childhood hero of Mets catcher has become his friend, mentor

Piazza leaves strong impression on d'Arnaud

NEW YORK -- It would have been nearly impossible to grow up a baseball fan in Southern California in the early 1990s and not revere Mike Piazza. He was an instant celebrity, shining even brighter than the other National League Rookie of the Year Award winners the Dodgers were pumping out on a yearly basis at that time. Piazza was both a pure hitter and a slugger, playing a position in which hitting for power was a foreign concept. And he was, most famously, a 62nd-round Draft pick.

"He was the ultimate underdog story," said Travis d'Arnaud -- not merely one of those Southern California kids, but a successor to Piazza behind the plate for the Mets. "To come up and just make an immediate impact with the team that my dad had us grew up watching was huge. I pretty much just tried to do everything like him, and imitate him in every way possible."

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

At critical juncture, Mets focused on winning

Club's next six games are vs. teams in thick of Wild Card race in Marlins, Cards

At critical juncture, Mets focused on winning

CHICAGO -- Six games into the most important juncture of their season to date, a nine-game road trip coming out of the All-Star break, the Mets are 3-3. After losing, 6-2, to the Cubs on Wednesday, they jetted off to Miami, where they will play the role of challenger. It will be the defending National League champions chasing the second-place Marlins, not the other way around.

Welcome to must-win baseball. Welcome to the rest of the season.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Colon, Mets can't keep up with Cubs in Chicago

Colon, Mets can't keep up with Cubs in Chicago

CHICAGO -- The constant for the Cubs since the All-Star break has been the starting pitching, and Kyle Hendricks continued that trend on Wednesday against the Mets. It didn't hurt to have Anthony Rizzo launch a pair of home runs into the right-field bleachers at Wrigley Field either.

Rizzo belted two homers, driving in three, and Addison Russell smacked a two-run double to back Hendricks and lift the Cubs to a 6-2 victory over the Mets to take the series. The Cubs couldn't match the Mets' sweep in New York, but Chicago manager Joe Maddon was happy with what he calls a "meatloaf" -- two out of three ain't bad.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Vote: What was Mike Piazza's best play?

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Vote: What was Mike Piazza's best play?

Mike Piazza was drafted in the 62nd round of the 1988 Draft, mostly thanks to a favor from Tommy Lasorda, and his early scouting reports didn't predict particular greatness in his future. But, after 16 years in MLB, Piazza will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday, with a career slash line of .308/.377/.545, 10 Silver Slugger Awards and the record for most home runs hit as a catcher (396 out of his total 427), among many other accomplishments.

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Smith among top prospect performers Wednesday

Pair of Dodgers pitching prospects each rack up double-digit K's in strong starts

Smith among top prospect performers Wednesday

Ten was the magic number for a pair of Dodgers pitchers on Wednesday night as both Jose De Leon and Yadier Alvarez struck out 10 hitters in their respective starts for Triple-A Oklahoma City and Class A Great Lakes.

De Leon, the Dodgers' No. 2 prospect and No. 20 on the Top 100, yielded four hits over a career-high eight scoreless innings to pace Oklahoma City in a 7-0 shutout of Tacoma. The 23-year-old right-hander hit one batter but did not issue a walk in the outing, as he demonstrated exemplary command of his arsenal by throwing 80 of his 105 pitches for strikes.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Answers for Mets might come from within

Unlike 2015, acquiring a difference maker at Trade Deadline won't be easy

Answers for Mets might come from within

CHICAGO -- Bartolo Colon rarely falls behind hitters when he's on his game. Yet he threw 17 balls among 33 pitches in the first inning on Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

Colon, who is 43, wound up giving up six runs in 4 1/3 innings as the Mets lost to the Cubs, 6-2. It marked his third consecutive non-quality start, and he's given up 15 runs in 14 2/3 innings during this stretch.

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Phil Rogers is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bases loaded, no outs: Mets snub Cubs

Bases loaded, no outs: Mets snub Cubs

CHICAGO -- The Cubs' missed opportunities cost them Tuesday night against the Mets. Rene Rivera smacked an RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning to lift New York to a 2-1 victory at Wrigley Field and even the series at one win apiece. Closer Jeurys Familia picked up his Major League-leading 33rd save by escaping a no-out, bases-loaded jam.

"He's a special guy," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Familia, who is tied for fourth in Major League history with 49 consecutive regular-season save conversions. "That's why I think he's as good as there is in baseball."

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Familia escapes 9th with 49th straight save

Mets closer works out of bases-loaded, no-out situation against Cubs

Familia escapes 9th with 49th straight save

CHICAGO -- Jeurys Familia began talking to himself on the mound, quietly in his head, drowning out all the noise that 41,456 fans in a 102-year-old stadium can make. Familia had walked the first two batters in the ninth inning of a one-run game, putting his 11-month save streak in jeopardy. I can do it, he said to himself. I can throw a strike. I can get this hitter.

It is Familia's ability to keep such promises that has allowed him to become one of the game's elite closers. In working around a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the Mets' 2-1 win over the Cubs on Tuesday, Familia converted his 49th consecutive regular-season save opportunity dating back to last August. That is tied for the fourth-longest streak in Major League history, on this night delivering the Mets a win they badly needed.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Thor brings heat in 1st start since early exit

Mets right-hander hits triple digits with fastball, says arms felt good all game

Thor brings heat in 1st start since early exit

CHICAGO -- Given how bright Wrigley Field's newfangled LED boards shine in right- and left-center field, and how packed they are with information, it is no longer difficult to gauge how hard pitchers are throwing on Chicago's North Side. The 102-year-old park's infrastructure now makes it easy to see when someone such as Noah Syndergaard is hitting triple digits, a feat that on Tuesday night seemed more important than usual.

Making his first start since departing an outing early due to arm fatigue on July 8, Syndergaard showcased all his usual velocity in the Mets' 2-1 win over the Cubs, putting to rest any lingering doubts over the health of his arm.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Petriello

Known for big bat, Piazza was underrated defensively

Recent studies show new Hall of Famer also brought value behind plate

Known for big bat, Piazza was underrated defensively

When Mike Piazza gets inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, you'll hear plenty about the legendary offensive skills that launched 427 home runs and got him into 12 All-Star Games. That's as it should be; Piazza is either the best hitting catcher in history or darn close to it, depending on how you measure such things.

What you won't hear about very much about, in all likelihood, is what Piazza did behind the plate. Needless to say, his defensive reputation was less than stellar. Here's The New York Times calling Piazza a "hard-hitting, poor-catching star" at the time of his 1998 trade to the Marlins. Here's Sports Illustrated kindly calling him "not a smooth receiver" in 2000. If you were so inclined, you could find plenty of other similar stories from the time. The narrative goes that Piazza wasn't much of a catcher, and that's probably how he'll be remembered: all bat, no field.

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Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast. He has previously written for ESPN Insider and FanGraphs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Conforto nails runner at home in 1st RF start

Cubs starter Arrieta out after replay overturns initial safe call

Conforto nails runner at home in 1st RF start

CHICAGO -- The Cubs were aggressive Tuesday sending Jake Arrieta home on a single from second base, resulting in some quick action for Michael Conforto in right field.

Playing his first career game in right, Conforto came up throwing when Arrieta, who had doubled with two outs in the fourth inning, came barreling home on a Tommy La Stella single. Because Conforto's throw beat Arrieta home, the Cubs starter had to reroute his path to try to tag the plate with his left hand. Though home-plate umpire Eric Cooper initially called Arrieta safe, a replay clearly showed that Mets catcher Rene Rivera had tagged him. That took a second run off the board for the Cubs against Mets starter Noah Syndergaard, allowing New York to tie the game two innings later. The Mets won, 2-1.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Duda (back) resumes light baseball activities

Mets first baseman has been out since May 20

Duda (back) resumes light baseball activities

CHICAGO -- Lucas Duda's timetable to return from a lower-back stress fracture gained clarity this week, when the Mets first baseman began light baseball activities for the first time since May. Duda began running and playing catch Monday in Port St. Lucie, Fla., with plans to add additional activities over the coming weeks.

If all goes well, Duda could begin a Minor League rehab assignment by early August, though that will depend upon the pace at which he increases baseball activities. The Mets will not rush Duda, who has been sidelined since May 20. Between that day and Monday, he had been limited to riding a stationary bike.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Any potential Mets trades likely for pitching

Club keeping its eyes open for starters or relievers

Any potential Mets trades likely for pitching

CHICAGO -- Considering the flurry of moves the Mets made prior to last year's non-waiver Trade Deadline, it is easy to forget the team did not spring the first of them -- Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson from the Braves for prospects -- until July 24.

The Mets actually began shaking things up earlier this year, acquiring James Loney in May and signing Jose Reyes in June. But for at least right now, they are in wait-and-see mode regarding further moves.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

DYK: 10 Amazin' facts about Mike Piazza's HOF career

Catcher went from nearly undrafted to newest Hall of Famer

DYK: 10 Amazin' facts about Mike Piazza's HOF career

In some ways, like when the legendary Ted Williams said he had a future as a hitter in the big leagues when he was just a kid, Mike Piazza seemed destined for a plaque in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

But there were other times, like when Piazza nearly went undrafted in 1988, that his membership in baseball's most exclusive fraternity seemed extremely unlikely.

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Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets considering using Conforto in center field

Collins looks to rest Cespedes' legs by shifting slugger to left

Mets considering using Conforto in center field

CHICAGO -- No sooner had Michael Conforto returned to the big leagues on Monday than manager Terry Collins approached him, and began talking about the possibility of playing a foreign position.

Welcome back, Michael.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Flores' homer not enough as Mets fall to Cubs

Flores' homer not enough as Mets fall to Cubs

CHICAGO -- When Jon Lester faced the Mets on July 3 in New York, the Cubs' left-hander had the shortest outing of his career, serving up eight runs over 1 1/3 innings. Lester redeemed himself Monday, giving up one run over 7 2/3 innings, to help the Cubs finally beat the Mets.

Anthony Rizzo smacked a three-run homer to back Lester and lift the Cubs to a 5-1 victory over the Mets in front of 41,353 at Wrigley Field. The celebration may be a little livelier postgame for the Cubs, as the win ended New York's string of eight straight wins over Chicago, which began with a sweep in last October's National League Championship Series and continued with another sweep from June 30-July 3 at Citi Field.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Matz: Command, not bone spur, culprit in loss

Rookie southpaw allows four runs on eight hits as winless streak continues

Matz: Command, not bone spur, culprit in loss

CHICAGO -- Hours after Matt Harvey made things official on Monday, settling onto an operating table for season-ending surgery, Steven Matz took the mound in what seemed like an abnormally significant game for the Mets. The team was hoping to continue its recent dominance against the Cubs. More than that, the Mets were looking for affirmation that both Matz and Noah Syndergaard will be ready to perform for the balance of this season.

Matz did not provide his share in a 5-1 loss at Wrigley Field, giving up four runs over five-plus innings to bloat his ERA to 5.12 since June 1. After spending most of April and May ranked among the best pitchers in baseball in nearly every conceivable category, Matz has fallen headlong back to earth.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Granderson named Mets' Heart and Hustle winner

Award recognizes passion, desire and work ethic

Granderson named Mets' Heart and Hustle winner

The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) announced the 30 preliminary winners of the 2016 Heart and Hustle Award on Tuesday, honoring one player from each of the 30 Major League teams.

The Heart and Hustle Award, given annually, celebrates active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and traditions of the game. It's the only award in the Majors that is voted on by former players, and voting is conducted prior to the All-Star break.

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Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harvey undergoes season-ending surgery

Ace begins four-month rehab for procedure to ease thoracic outlet syndrome

Harvey undergoes season-ending surgery

CHICAGO -- Mets pitcher Matt Harvey's season officially came to an end on Monday, when he underwent surgery in St. Louis to relieve the thoracic outlet syndrome that had been causing numbness and discomfort in his right arm. Harvey began his roughly four-month recovery on Monday afternoon, with hopes to return to the Mets' rotation next spring.

Only in time will the Mets learn how realistic that timetable is, though other pitchers -- most notably Kansas City's Chris Young -- have found big league success after undergoing identical operations. The surgery, which renowned vascular surgeon Dr. Robert Thompson performed on Harvey, involves the removal of a rib. That eases pressure on neurological systems in the pitching arm, which can become compressed due to repetitive stress.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.