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Morning Briefing: Dead arm or not, it's Matt Harvey Day

2h

NEW YORK --

FIRST PITCH: Pitching coach Dan Warthen is unconcerned about Matt Harvey.

Harvey, who returns to the mound on Friday at Citi Field for the New York Mets, is coming off the worst outing of his career. He allowed a career-high seven runs in a career-low four innings on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Warthen agreed with manager Terry Collins’ assessment that Harvey may have been going through a “dead-arm” phase in Pittsburgh. The pitching coach explained that although Harvey’s fastball still registered 96 mph in that start, it lacked its customary late giddy-up as it was approaching batters.

“We looked at the video and found that he was probably trying to do a little much -- more than he has been in the past,” Warthen said. “Maybe that was because he didn’t feel as fresh because his arm was not responding. But this is a very typical time of the year for a ‘dead arm’ to happen. So he got ‘long.’ He got more rotational. So his foot was hitting too soon and his arm not catching up.”

Warthen called Harvey’s bullpen session on Tuesday “exceptional.”

Said Warthen: “The ball was down. It had life to it. All of his breaking balls were good. So I see that he’s come out of that ‘dead arm.’”

Harvey (5-2, 2.91 ERA) opposes right-hander Dan Haren (4-2, 3.09) at 7:10 p.m. ET. in the series opener between the Mets and Miami Marlins.

The Mets certainly have fattened up against the NL East’s Philadelphia Phillies, Marlins and Atlanta Braves this season. The Amazin’s are a combined 17-5 against those division foes, including a just-completed sweep of Philadelphia. The Mets are 10-16 against the rest of baseball.

Read the Mets-Marlins series preview here.

FRIDAY’S NEWS REPORTS:

  • Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post writes that suspended Jenrry Mejia is currently throwing at the organization’s academy in the Dominican Republic. Assistant general manager John Ricco tells Sherman that Mejia will shift to the team’s complex in Port St. Lucie in early June and appear in minor league games later that month to tune up for his activation, which would come on July 7, barring any rainouts. Mejia was suspended 80 games by MLB for a positive PED test.

  • Harvey’s agent, Scott Boras, approves of the upcoming six-man rotation. Boras even suggested the Mets might be best served capping Harvey’s innings at 160 to 170, not letting him flirt with 200 like they plan. “You cannot come back and treat a season after Tommy John as if it is a normal season. It has to be treated with caution,” Boras tells Mike Vorkunov at NJ.com. "To the extent … you create a plan that's going to keep Matt's innings down, I think it's necessary. I think it's prudent. Certainly the talent that is on the Mets pitching staff allows the creation of a process that allows six pitchers to pitch. … We know that pitchers after Tommy John -- when they've had 160, 170 innings -- we know they've come back very effectively. Certainly with [Washington’s Stephen] Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, we've seen that program work effectively for those pitchers. I think that would be certainly a very prudent plan to look at for Matt Harvey as well."

  • Aderlin Rodriguez delivered a two-run double and Luis Cessa tossed six scoreless innings as Binghamton blanked Portland, 2-0. Jayce Boyd was promoted to Las Vegas after the B-Mets’ win. Starting pitcher Rob Whalen was ejected in the fifth and St. Lucie lost to Lakeland, 4-3. Travis d’Arnaud went 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI in seven innings as the DH. Jon Leroux hit a walk-off solo homer and organization newcomer Casey Delgado tossed four scoreless innings for the win as Savannah beat Charleston, 2-1. Read the full minor league recap here.

  • Vic Black and Bobby Parnell accompanied the B-Mets to Altoona after Thursday’s game as their rehab assignments continue in Double-A.

  • Read more on Harvey’s “dead arm” in the Post and Newsday.

  • Anthony DiComo answers mailbag questions at MLB.com.

  • From the bloggers … Blogging Mets disapproves of the six-man rotation. … Mets Fan Weekly reviews who’s hot and not.

BIRTHDAYS: Steven Matz turns 24. … Las Vegas teammate Tyler Pill is 25.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

YOU’RE UP: Will Harvey bounce back against the Marlins?