Hunter Harvey, the Orioles' top pick in last year's amateur draft and one of their best pitching prospects, is out for the season with an elbow injury that at this point will require rest, not surgery, according to executive vice president Dan Duquette.
“Hunter saw our doctors yesterday, and he has an issue with his elbow, and so he won’t be pitching any more the rest of the season,” Duquette said before Wednesday's game against the Los Angeles Angels at Camden Yards. “I need to learn a little more about it. He’s had a good year, and he has distinguished himself as a top young pitcher. And he needs a rest period.”
Harvey felt some tightness in his elbow area following his most recent outing for Low-A Delmarva, according to a source. He allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings Friday at Rome.
The official injury is being called a “flexor mass strain,” and his right elbow ligament is supposed to be 100 percent fine, doctors told the Orioles. A flexor mass strain, however, is what right-hander Dylan Bundy was diagnosed with last year, and he eventually had Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery.
When asked if surgery would be a possibility for Harvey, Duquette said: “I don’t think so.”
“He has some inflammation in his elbow, and I believe he has a strain,” Duquette said. “He needs a period of rest.”
Harvey, 19, was taken with the 22nd pick overall in the 2013 draft and signed within weeks for a $1.95 million bonus.
The son of former major league closer Bryan Harvey, he was 7-5 with a 3.18 ERA in 17 games with Delmarva in what was supposed to be his first full professional season. He was named a midseason South Atlantic League All-Star and pitched in the prestigious Major League Baseball All-Star Futures Game this year in Minneapolis.
Duquette was asked whether the news on Harvey would be a blow to his trade discussions this week. But the Orioles have been reluctant to use him as a trade chip, even though he has been coveted by other teams.
“Yes, obviously [he is coveted],” Duquette said. “But he is with the Orioles.”