Amidst the Twitter hysteria regarding the possible trade of Jon Lester to the Orioles, some sobering news has come out of the Orioles camp as GM Dan Duquette announced that hot prospect Hunter Harvey will miss the rest of the year with a right elbow strain.
About a half hour ago the Orioles beat writers were informed that Harvey had an MRI yesterday that revealed no ligament damage, but due to inflammation in the elbow he won't pitch again this season. That's a pretty big blow to the team since their other top pitching prospect, Dylan Bundy, is still trying to work his way back from Tommy John surgery.
Harvey has been pitching for the low-A Delmarva Shorebirds this entire season and in 17 starts has put up a 3.17 ERA with 106 strikeouts in just 87 2/3 innings. He gets glowing reviews around baseball and ESPN analyst Keith Law ranked him as the 13th best prospect in the majors just about two weeks ago. Law has seen Harvey pitch multiple times this season and has stated that he is more than ready to pitch in a higher league.
This is a pretty big downer, but hopefully if he rests the rest of this season he'll be ready to go for next year. The Orioles aren't believed to be willing to trade either Harvey or Bundy as we approach the trade deadline, so it remains to be seen if this will affect those proceedings. If they were willing to trade Harvey, the injuries could stop that. Even if they're not willing, this injury could make them less likely to part with another prospect like Eduardo Rodriguez in the event Harvey's injury is serious.
I feel bad for the kid. He's just 19 years old and had been experiencing a lot of success so far. Here's hoping he comes out on the other end of this no worse for wear.