Orioles top pitching prospect Hunter Harvey, who has been dealing with a groin injury since the spring, will be seeing a specialist Monday in Philadelphia to see if he is dealing with a sports hernia, according to a source.
If he has to have surgery, the 21-year-old Harvey likely would be dealing with a recovery period of four to six weeks before he can get back to full baseball activities.
Harvey, the organization’s first round pick (22nd overall) in 2013, has not pitched in a regular season game since he was shut down in late July 2014 with a flexor mass strain when he was with Low-A Delmarva.
Harvey was with the Orioles this spring and pitched in three games, allowing six earned runs in 2 2/3 innings (20.25 ERA). He was shut down with the groin injury late in the spring and then returned to the mound to throw two innings in extended spring training Thursday.
“Hunter Harvey came in after his outing, as they said, ‘Was showing symptoms of the groin again the next day,’” said Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who did not directly mention sports hernia as a possibility but hinted at it.
“I know a little bit more than I’m talking about here, but I think him going to see a specialist [about] what may be going on in there, that a groin’s not healing like it should. He’s had plenty of time,” the manager added. “I always look, and here’s the final piece (the specialist). He’ll get going (depending) on what they have to do to correct what I think, what we think, they’re going to find.”
Showalter was asked whether he thought Harvey would be back pitching this year.
“I think so,” Showalter said. “Lot of ’16 (left), a lot of leagues that go on in 2016.”
Harvey, the son of former major leaguer Bryan Harvey, was listed as the Orioles’ No. 2 prospect in 2016 as rated by Baseball America. He was behind only Dylan Bundy, who is currently pitching out of the major league bullpen.
In parts of two seasons at three different affiliates, Harvey is 7-6 with a 2.87 ERA in 25 starts. He has not been above Low-A Delmarva.