Orioles right-handed pitching prospect Hunter Harvey was struck by a comebacker in his minor league start against the Minnesota Twins’ Single-A team yesterday. Initial reports had stated that Harvey was struck in the ankle, but a CT scan has revealed a slight fracture in his right fibula. Orioles Vice President Dan Duquette confirmed the break in a statement released this afternoon. Harvey will be on crutches for at least a month as the bone begins to heal.
The initial x-ray taken after the play did not reveal a break, but the CT scan showed the small fracture that will keep the Orioles’ 2013 first-round pick and second-rated prospect out for up to six weeks. Harvey had started the spring in Orioles camp before being reassigned to the minors last Monday. After the healing process runs its course, “it’s back to work” for Harvey, according to Duquette.
In three innings with the big club this spring, Harvey did not allow an earned run and struck out four. Harvey’s 2014 season, his first full season of professional baseball after being drafted out of high school, was cut short due to a strained right flexor mass. Prior to the injury that shut him down, Harvey was 7-5 with a 3.18 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 87.2 innings. The Orioles had planned to monitor Harvey’s innings in the minors this season and perhaps have him available for a late season callup had things gone according to plan.
This small setback will not derail Harvey’s season, but it will delay its start to the point that it may be unrealistic to expect him in the Majors before the end of the year. The Orioles were not counting on it, but seeing Harvey in Camden Yards this summer would have been an added bonus to a team looking to claim a second consecutive playoff spot for the first time in over a decade.