A follow-up appointment Monday in Baltimore to examine Orioles pitching prospect Hunter Harvey’s surgically repaired right elbow revealed no structural damage or changes, meaning his recent discomfort is a result of tendinitis, according to industry sources.
Harvey, the 2013 first-round draft pick who entered this season as the team’s top pitching prospect despite years of injuries that kept him off the mound, stopped throwing last week at the team complex in Sarasota, Fla., after feeling discomfort, the latest setback in what has been another lost season.
The Orioles had Harvey compete for a major league roster spot out of spring training despite a light workload as he rehabilitated from Tommy John elbow reconstruction in 2017, and he pitched well in the spring, but ultimately was assigned back to Double-A Bowie.
He was on a limited schedule there to build him up and keep him available for a possible late-season major league call-up, but Harvey suffered a shoulder injury trying to avoid a foul ball in the dugout when his shirtsleeve got caught on the railing as he jerked backward, and didn’t make another start after June 1.
Harvey got back onto the mound and was a candidate for the Arizona Fall League to get him work, but didn’t make it far in his throwing progression before his elbow discomfort began.
While Harvey still doesn’t have a full professional season under his belt, he’s on the 40-man roster and there’s still hope that he can deliver on his first-round potential. He’s added a fourth pitch — a cutter — to his repertoire in bullpen sessions, but didn’t get a chance to use it in a game before his shoulder injury and hasn’t thrown it since his elbow discomfort began in Florida.