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Orioles prospect Hunter Harvey to get MRI on his throwing elbow

Hunter Harvey, one of the best Orioles minor leaguers, was shut down after experiencing elbow tightness in extended spring training. He's headed back to Baltimore for an MRI. Good things seldom come from elbow MRIs.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

When it rains, it pours. The Orioles suffered a blow on Tuesday night after the game with the news that pitching prospect Hunter Harvey, among the best-rated minor leaguers in the game, has encountered elbow tightness while throwing in extended spring training. He's returning to Baltimore for an MRI on Wednesday.

The words elbow tightness combined with an MRI seldom end up with good news. Harvey already hadn't pitched in any real game yet due to the hairline fracture in his shin that he suffered during spring training. Now even his rehab from that has produced the most troubling news possible.

We can all hope for the best, but we also know where this road probably leads. Next is the appointment with Dr. James Andrews, then the announcement of a surgery date, the news that surgery has gone smoothly, and then, twelve months later as the pitcher finally returns to action, the reminder that even once they're back, pitchers aren't all the way back until 18 months or more out from the surgery date.

If things go that route, we can basically forget about Harvey having any impact until the 2017 season. That's a depressing thing to contemplate. As if tonight's Orioles game wasn't bad enough, now this. Maybe we will get some surprise good news about Harvey before all is said and done.