Mets slate Harvey's return for Friday

May 8th, 2017

NEW YORK -- The process of moving on began Monday for the Mets and Matt Harvey, who spent his third straight game away from Citi Field. Harvey will return to the clubhouse Tuesday, once his three-game suspension is complete, at which time the team expects him to address his peers.

Harvey will then start Friday in Milwaukee, rather than Wednesday at Citi Field. Manager Terry Collins downplayed the notion that starting on the road would bring less publicity for Harvey and the Mets, though that is innately true. More important, Collins said, Harvey must show contrition in order for the Mets to move past this issue.

"We have a policy here," Collins said of Harvey's three-game suspension, which sources confirmed was for an unexcused absence Saturday. "I thought it was the right thing to do. I know it's dramatic, but I think any team in baseball would have probably reacted very similarly. And it wasn't just Matt Harvey. Anybody in that room that misses a day and nobody knows about it, we've got to do the same thing."

Most Mets players had already moved past the issue Monday, more interested in that night's game against the Giants than in Harvey's whereabouts. But Collins still considers it important for Harvey to address his teammates, whether it's all at once or one at a time.

"I know one thing about our society: You make a mistake, you stand up, be accountable and move on," Collins said. "He needs to address the guys. We've got to get this behind us. However he wants to go about doing that, I'll sign on for it.

"We have a good clubhouse. Understand, you're never going to have 25 that all like each other. But they respect each other and that's all I want."

In discussing Harvey's transgression, Collins harkened back to September 2015, when Harvey, coming off Tommy John surgery, said he was not willing to risk his arm in playoff games. A firestorm ensued, with fans calling Harvey selfish and teammates irked at his lack of commitment to the pennant chase. By the end of the month, Harvey had relented, ultimately throwing 26 2/3 postseason innings to blow past his season limit.

"He went out and 48,000 people were chanting his name in the World Series," Collins said. "It will happen again."

There are differing reports on the reasons behind Harvey's absence on Saturday. The New York Post reported on Tuesday that, according to sources, Harvey was at a club in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan until 4 a.m. ET on Saturday. Meanwhile, people close to Harvey told Jon Heyman of that Harvey played golf early Saturday morning and developed a severe headache upon returning home.

According to that report, Harvey texted pitching coach Dan Warthen between 3-4 p.m. on Saturday to tell him he couldn't make it to the ballpark. The Post report said Warthen first called Harvey, on a request by Collins, but got no answer. Mets personnel reportedly visited Harvey at his apartment around 10 p.m. after numerous messages went unreturned.