PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Jeremy Hefner had just come in from throwing on Monday for the first time since surgery, his shirt still soaked in sweat, when Matt Harvey approached him at his locker. Curious about Hefner, who is several weeks ahead of him in his Tommy John rehab program, Harvey probed his teammate for information.
"He wants to be out there too," Hefner said. "But he'll get there."
Harvey won't begin throwing for at least another few days; the Mets have yet to tell him a date. As for Hefner, Monday marked his first time throwing a baseball since undergoing surgery in August. He tossed 20 times off flat ground from 60 feet, and was beaming at the result.
"I'm on Cloud Nine right now," Hefner said. "I'm so excited."
Hefner will throw twice more this week, then increase the distance and throw four times next week. He will eventually progress all the way up to 150 feet, at which point he will be ready to throw off a mound.
The ultimate goal is to be ready by mid-August, should the Mets need help out of the bullpen. Hefner went 4-8 with a 4.34 ERA in 24 appearances last season, including 23 starts. The Mets non-tendered him after the season to save money and move him off the 40-man roster, but quickly re-signed him to a Minor League deal.