BALTIMORE—Hunter Harvey’s upcoming Tommy John surgery is something the Orioles wanted to avoid. Dan Duquette says there was really no choice.
The Orioles top draft choice in June 2013, the 21-year-old Harvey will have surgery on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C. Dr. Donald D’Alessandro will perform the surgery.
“With the elbows we always try a lot of different options before we get to surgery, and we knew that Hunter Harvey had a couple of setbacks with his elbow,” Duquette said. “Ultimately, he were are. He’s decided to have the ligament transplant.”
There was some talk last September that Harvey would need surgery then, but the decision then was to wait.
“Given that we waited, we lost some time. On the other hand, Hunter Harvey is 21 years old. He’ll have the opportunity to rehab and restart his Orioles career probably 12, 18 months from now,” Duquette said.
Harvey has pitched only 30 professional games since his signing three years ago, and didn’t pitch when he suffered a flexor mass strain in July 2014 until last month.
He missed all of 2015 with a broken shin and a recurrence of the flexor mass strain and underwent sports hernia surgery in May.
Dylan Bundy, who was the team’s No. 1 pick in 2011, and starts on Friday night, had Tommy John surgery in 2013.
“He’s 21 and Dylan’s 23? You could do a lot of hindsight stuff, but I know there’s a lot of things taken in trying to see if we could keep from this happening. I’m looking forward,” manager Buck Showalter said.
“I think if you’re looking at him and Dylan, and some of the challenges we’re going to be able to put behind him and you look at the history of those things, I like our chances of getting an effective pitcher down the road. I try to keep that in mind.”
Showalter says that Harvey has an advantage. He’s the son of longtime major league pitcher Bryan Harvey, who also had Tommy John surgery.
“That’s one of the biggest assets he has going for him. His dad’s super. He’s not one of those push dads. He knows the reality as evidenced by the scar on his elbow. It’s also a reminder that you can take every precaution possible and there’s no magic grid. There’s nothing that shows you, follow this, and this happens or this doesn’t happen. I don’t think you can get any more diligent than his dad or our people in the minor leagues have been. Sometimes it just happens, but thank goodness there’s a way to hopefully rectify it,” Showalter said.