Hunter Harvey, Baltimore's No. 2 prospect, has been shut down for the remainder of the season after being diagnosed with a strained right elbow.
Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said Baltimore's top pick in the 2013 Draft felt tightness in his elbow after his most recent start for Class A Delmarva on July 25. The club said he underwent an MRI and was diagnosed with a "flexor mass strain," the same injury that eventually sent the organization's No. 1 prospect, Dylan Bundy, to Tommy John surgery last year.
Duquette, however, said he doesn't think Harvey will need surgery, just rest.
"Hunter saw our doctors yesterday, and he has an issue with his elbow, and so he won't be pitching any more the rest of the season," Duquette told the Baltimore Sun before Wednesday's game against the Los Angeles Angels at Camden Yards. "I need to learn a little more about it. He's had a good year, and he has distinguished himself as a top young pitcher. And he needs a rest period."
The 19-year-old was examined by Orioles team orthopedist Dr. Michael Jacobs, whose tests revealed no ligament damage Tuesday.
"He has some inflammation in his elbow, and I believe he has a strain," Duquette told the Sun. "He needs a period of rest."
When asked directly whether he thinks Harvey could need surgery, he added, "I don't think so."
MLB.com's No. 35 overall prospect debuted in short-season ball last year before joining the Orioles' South Atlantic League affiliate for his first full season this spring. He went 7-5 with a 3.18 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 87 2/3 innings over 17 starts. He walked 33 and allowed five homers while holding batters to a .209 average.
The 6-foot-3 Bandys High School (Catawba, North Carolina) product won four consecutive starts from June 23-July 18 before allowing four runs on eight hits over five ininngs in a loss at Rome last Friday.
The news might sound familiar to Orioles fans -- Bundy, ranked at the time as the No. 2 prospect in baseball, was shut down with "flexor mass tightness" on April 29, 2013 when Dr. James Andrews recommended the right-hander rest for six weeks. Bundy was give a platelet rich plasma injection in his elbow to promote healing, but ended up being sent for Tommy John surgery two months later.