Elbow discomfort shuts down prospect Harvey

Elbow discomfort shuts down prospect Harvey

ST. PETERSBURG -- Orioles top pitching prospect Hunter Harvey has been shut down again with right elbow discomfort and is slated to be re-evaluated by noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews sometime soon.

"Dr. Andrews is out of the country right now, so I'm not sure when that would be," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Harvey's appointment. Showalter also noted that there's a level of concern within the organization regarding Harvey, who felt something on the first day he was cleared to throw in the team's instructional league.

"Any time a guy has had that much time off and done the rehab and everything and there's discomfort, that's an issue," Showalter said of Harvey, who has yet to pitch this season.

The Orioles' first-round pick in the 2013 Draft, Harvey is the son of former big leaguer Bryan Harvey and has not pitched in a Minor League game since July 2014. He was shut down early last season because of a strained flexor mass, but he was a full go in Spring Training before he was hit in the left shin and suffered a fractured fibula in March.

Harvey returned in May before dealing with a strained flexor mass muscle again -- which is essentially the elbow -- and he was shut down and received a PRP injection in mid-May. He was recently cleared to begin a throwing program, and the organization had hoped he could pitch in the Arizona Fall League.

That won't happen now, but Baltimore hopes to avoid the news that elbow issues frequently lead to: Tommy John surgery.

"We'll see," Showalter said. "Let it run its course. I know more than I'm going to talk about here. We're hoping for a different result than what that type of thing normally makes you wonder about. It's been a long haul for him."

Harvey has pitched in parts of two Minor League seasons, advancing as high up as Low-A Delmarva.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.