Right-hander Hunter Harvey, the Orioles' second-ranked prospect, will get a second opinion on his injured right elbow next week from renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews.
At this point, the Orioles believe Andrews will concur with the team doctors' evaluation after reading an MRI on Wednesday, that Harvey will have to undergo a period of rest but should be able to pitch at some point later this year.
Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said the team is considering the injury a flexor mass strain in the right forearm and it will not need surgery. However, flexor muscle and tendon issues often are precursors to -- or are in concert with -- elbow ligament tears that require Tommy John surgery. The increasingly frequent ligament-replacement procedure normally shelves professional pitchers for at least one year. Andrews is considered a leading authority in Tommy John surgeries.
"It's always a concern with any pitcher," Duquette said. "But in this case, I think Hunter can respond to this with sufficient rest and then can resume pitching."
Harvey, 20, was selected in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2013 draft and owns a 2.87 ERA in 113 pro innings. While with low Single-A Delmarva last year, he was shut down July 31 with a flexor mass strain, which Duquette said is “a different issue” than what he is dealing with now.
Harvey was ticketed for high Single-A Frederick this season, but his start was delayed after he suffered a slight fracture in his right shin during a minor league spring training game in March. He has been recovering in Sarasota, Fla., and seemed like he was on his way back to an affiliate before leaving Sunday's extended spring game after two innings because of tightness in the elbow/forearm area.