MIAMI -- Matt Harvey is not the only Mets pitcher spending his days in Florida rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. Accompanying Harvey at least part of the time is Jeremy Hefner, who drove down from Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Tuesday to visit his teammates in Miami.
Unlike Harvey, Hefner is stationed in Port St. Lucie full-time as he attempts to work his way back from surgery. When Harvey is not back in New York, he and Hefner benefit from each other's company.
"He's firing balls to me and I'm firing balls back at him," Hefner said. "It's a good time. Ever since I've been in the organization, me and Matt have pretty much been in the same spot. He helps me with my mechanics and I help him with his."
Though Hefner underwent surgery roughly two months before Harvey, the two are at similar stages in their rehab programs. Both hope to increase their throwing distances to 120 feet this week, setting them up to climb atop mounds for the first time in early June.
Both also hope to return to the big leagues later this season -- a target that seems more realistic for Hefner, given his extra two months of rehab time.
"That's my goal," said Hefner, who posted a 4.34 ERA in 24 appearances (23 starts) last season. "That's my hope. Hopefully, I can come and contribute if there's a need. I think I'd be wasting my time if I wasn't trying to get back to the big leagues, so I'm hopeful I can do that.
"I've been here. I've had good spurts and I've had bad spurts. I know what it takes to have those good spurts, and hopefully, I can get my arm to cooperate with my mind, and get back to that point."