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Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Matt Harvey already preparing for 2013

By Adam Rubin

Matt Harvey's preparations for 2013 began Nov. 1. The former first-round pick, who debuted successfully with the Mets last season, arrived at the beginning of the month for workouts that included throwing at agent Scott Boras' facility in Newport Beach, Calif.

Among the others with whom Harvey worked out at the Boras complex: the Los Angeles Kings' Dustin Penner and Colorado Avalanche's Shane O'Brien, who are trying to stay in shape during the National Hockey League lockout.

"I'm trying to get back in shape and get ready for February," Harvey said Tuesday, during a visit to a Far Rockaway soup kitchen. "It's go time. I was going to spend a week, but it ended up turning into two. The guys were great out there."

Harvey plans to head to his native Connecticut later Tuesday "to make my mom happy." He plans to spend another week in the New York area before heading to his adopted offseason home: Atlanta. There, Harvey will throw to catcher Mike Nickeas, who also calls the area home. Zack Wheeler and Collin McHugh figure to throw to Nickeas this offseason as well.

"Probably toward the middle of December and January," Harvey said about throwing to Nickeas. "January is definitely the time to kick it up a little bit."

Barring trades or injuries, the Opening Day rotation is expected to be R.A. Dickey, Johan Santana, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee and Harvey. Terry Collins proclaimed before the season ended that Harvey is a lock for 2013 -- not that it was ever in doubt. Still, Harvey said: "In my mind I'm going into it like I don't have that job. I'd like to go in, and I'd like to hope that I have the job and all that, but it's all about performance and going into spring training being ready and mentally and physically prepared for a full season. I'm doing everything I can right now to do that. Hopefully the success will come pretty early in spring training and I can secure that job."

Count Harvey among those hoping Dickey remains a Met.

"From the year that he came off of, and everything he brings to the New York Mets, he's a special guy," Harvey said. "I know negotiations and all that are being taken care of elsewhere. Everyone is looking out for the best of the team. We all hope he's back and hopefully we have a strong staff."