After throwing one pitch to Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Mickey Moniak in the eighth inning of Friday’s game, Hunter Harvey injured his left oblique muscle.
It’s doubtful that Harvey, who has a history of injuries that includes Tommy John surgery in 2016, will start the season with the Orioles. The 26-year-old right-hander, who was the Orioles’ top draft choice in 2013, threw just 15 major league innings in 2019 and 2020. He has yet to appear on an Opening Day roster.
“I heard him kind of groan and double over,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said after Friday’s 6-2 loss to the Phillies. “I was hoping for the best. I was hoping it wasn’t an arm or a shoulder or an elbow, or something like that. I could tell by the way he was breathing it was something in his side. It’s his left oblique.
“It is what it is right now, and we evaluate as we go along.”
Hyde had planned to use Harvey as a late-inning reliever.
“I haven’t really sat down and thought about it much,” Hyde said. “It happened about 45 minutes ago. It opens a door for somebody to break with us. We’ll give opportunity to guys and somebody needs to step up.”
Before Friday, Harvey had thrown two scoreless innings, walking three and striking out one.
Prospects sent to Norfolk: After Friday’s game, the Orioles optioned right-handed pitchers Mike Baumann and Isaac Mattson and left-handers Zac Lowther and Alexander Wells to Triple-A Norfolk. All were added to the Orioles’ 40-man roster in November.
They also reassigned right-hander Evan Phillips to the Twin Lakes minor league camp.
Baumann did not pitch in a Grapefruit League game. Wells, who also had an oblique injury, didn’t pitch, either. Lowther threw a scoreless inning, allowing one hit on March 1st against Philadelphia. Mattson, who pitched to one batter on Friday, allowed one run on two hits in 2 1/3 innings.
Phillips, who pitched in 44 games with the Orioles from 2018-2020, had a 9.00 ERA in three Grapefruit League games.
Right-handed pitcher Gray Fenter, who was chosen by the Chicago Cubs in December’s Rule 5 draft, has been returned to the Orioles. He’ll be at spring training as a camp reserve and report to the Twin Lakes complex.
The moves leave 63 players in camp.