Orioles recall Hunter Harvey

BOSTON - The latest roster move for the Orioles brings pitcher Hunter Harvey to the majors for the first time since 2018 and sets him up to make his long-awaited debut.

The Orioles recalled Harvey this morning from Triple-A Norfolk. He fills the roster spot that opened after pitcher Tom Eshelman was optioned following last night’s 9-1 loss to the Red Sox.

Harvey can become the 54th player used by the Orioles this season, two short of the club record set last year. He’d be the 37th pitcher.

He’d also be the most anticipated as the Orioles slowly move their prospects up the ladder.

Hunter Harvey throws orange.pngHarvey spent two days in the majors in April 2018 but didn’t pitch. The Orioles optioned him to Double-A Bowie and recalled infielder Engelb Vielma as a fourth bench player.

They were working with a short bench after placing outfielder Colby Rasmus on the disabled list. It’s been that long ago.

Harvey, a first-round pick in 2013 whose injuries and Tommy John surgery are well chronicled, made 11 starts with Bowie before moving to the bullpen for three relief appearances. He’s pitched in 12 games with Norfolk and posted a 4.32 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and .206 average against in 16 2/3 innings.

The strikeouts are there. Sixty-one in 59 innings for Bowie and 22 with five walks in 16 2/3 innings with Norfolk.

A fresh arm accompanies Harvey to Boston, with his last appearance on Wednesday in Pawtucket. He struck out the side in his only inning.

In 73 minor league games, Harvey has gone 11-16 with a 3.67 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 300 strikeouts in 252 1/3 innings. He’s only 24, though it feels like he’s been around much longer.

The Orioles have Harvey on a strict innings limit this season, the primary goal to get him through a full season without injury. They wanted him in the bullpen this summer before he reached the undisclosed total.

Harvey pitched in five games in 2016, eight in 2017 and nine last year, a freakish shoulder injury sustained while trying to avoid a line drive aimed at the Bowie dugout the latest setback. He’s made it through 26 games this season, perhaps the most important number he’s posted.

The son of former major league closer Bryan Harvey is wearing No. 56 for tonight’s game at Fenway Park. The number last worn by Darren O’Day.

Tonight’s starter, Asher Wojciechowski, had his finest outing against the Red Sox on July 21 at Camden Yards, shutting them out on one hit and striking out 10 on 7 1/3 innings. He also earned his first win with the Orioles.

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, the former Orioles minor leaguer, is 13-5 with 4.31 ERA and 1.374 WHIP in 25 starts. He’s faced the Orioles twice this season and allowed three runs in 13 2/3 innings.

Trey Mancini is 9-for-26 (.346) with two doubles and two home runs against Rodriguez. Chris Davis, most likely on the bench tonight, is 5-for-29 (.172) with a home run and 15 strikeouts.

Orioles relievers have registered a 6.30 ERA in 494 innings. Harvey is next man up at trying to give manager Brandon Hyde a more dependable option.

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