FORT MYERS, FLA. — Top pitching prospect Hunter Harvey wasn’t expected to be in major league camp for the entire spring, but it’s starting to look that way.
Manager Buck Showalter laid out Harvey’s schedule for the next 10 days, and it includes a simulated game the next time he comes up in the preseason rotation and a game appearance against the New York Yankees on March 21.
That leaves just four days before the club breaks camp and heads to Norfolk, Va., for its annual game against the Triple-A Tides at Harbor Park.
Harvey gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits in Sunday’s split-squad start against the Boston Red Sox. The only earned run came on a leadoff homer by Orioles-killer Mookie Betts in the first inning. He also threw a couple of wild pitches and had a throwing error, but that’s not going to change anything.
“He’s staying,’’ Showalter said. “He’s getting something out of this.”
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So, if you want to start seriously wondering whether he’s going to still be on the 25-man roster Opening Day, go to town.
It still seems more likely that he’ll start the season in the minors, but it’s pretty clear Showalter wants Harvey to get as much experience as possible with the major league club this spring in case his timetable accelerates.
Harvey said after his outing that he didn’t really expect to spend this much of the spring with the major league team, but he’s “ready for anything … whatever they want to throw at me.”
He added that he’s still hoping to make the big league club out of camp, but is grateful for whatever opportunity he gets.
“Coming into it, with not pitching the last couple years and not having a lot of innings, I’m just glad I came in and got a couple of innings. Sticking around even longer is awesome. It’s getting more competitive. Facing that lineup was awesome.”
Austin Hays will play Tuesday
Outfield prospect Austin Hays, who has been sidelined with a sore shoulder, is expected to play the outfield in Tuesday’s exhibition game against the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers.
Showalter said he should be a full go.
Hays also won’t have to sweat out next few roster cuts. He needs to get some playing time after being restricted to some DH at-bats through the first half of the exhibition schedule.
Minor league prospects DL Hall and Adam Stauffer will join the major league club in the dugout for Sunday night’s game against the Phillies.
They will not be eligible to play. Showalter said he’ll bring a couple of players over from the minor league side for each of the remaining home exhibition games just to get a taste of what the atmosphere is like in the big league dugout.