Harvey went on the 10-day injured list yesterday with inflammation in his right knee. López beat him to it after leaving Monday’s game against the Royals with a sprained right ankle.
Manager Brandon Hyde announced both decisions earlier today.
Harvey underwent further testing on the knee, which he injured Aug. 4 after crafting a streak of 21 2/3 scoreless innings. His final start came Wednesday night against the Royals, when he lasted 4 1/3 innings and allowed three earned runs and four total with nine hits.
Neither start in September, which increased his total to 28, carried Harvey through the fifth inning.
“Harv’s got some knee soreness, he’s had some knee soreness for a while,” Hyde said. “He’s been grinding for a while now. He’s just been taking the ball for us. You saw that start in New York where we took him out of the game because of the knee bothering him a little bit. He has been posting for us and I just appreciate the 28 starts he gave and we’re going to give him the rest of the year off, just to try to get him right and have a good off-season and get ready for next year.”
But for which team?
The Orioles entertained Harvey’s comeback attempt with a minor league deal worth $1 million if he made the club. He led the team in starts while going 6-14 with a 6.27 ERA and 1.543 WHIP in 127 2/3 innings.
He came within one start of tying his career high set with the Mets in 2015, an important goal for a pitcher who’s trying to prove his durability while re-entering the free agent market.
Harvey registered a 7.70 ERA and 1.763 WHIP in 18 starts in the first half, but was 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA and 0.955 WHIP in four starts in July, covering 22 innings. The knee injury interrupted his impressive stretch and he couldn’t get back to it.
The Orioles likely will be searching for at least one veteran starter this winter, but may be moving on from Harvey.
“I think that’s a conversation with Mike (Elias),” Hyde said. “But Harv did everything he could this year to get a job either here or with somebody else next year. I’m pulling for him. He’s been an unbelievable team guy and veteran presence in the clubhouse and I just appreciate how he went about his business for us and helped us out a lot on the mound.”
López improved his standing with the club after his move to the bullpen and could get a new contract as a first-year arbitration eligible player.
The ankle sprain is “significant,” Hyde said, and leaves López at 3-14 with a 6.07 ERA and 1.627 WHIP in 33 games. He allowed two runs with 10 strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings as a reliever and provided a power arm for the middle and late stages of games.
The injury occurred as López was covering first base on Andrew Benintendi’s ground ball to Ryan Mountcastle, his first batter and his fifth appearance in seven games. The ankle rolled and López collapsed to the ground.
“I wouldn’t expect him back,” Hyde said.
“Very disappointing because really liked how he looked out of the bullpen and I know he was loving it. Unfortunately, his season ended early in kind of a freak accident, but from a contract standpoint, I don’t know what’s going on there. But I think that Lopie’s got a special arm and he dealt with a lot this year and I know he enjoyed the transition to the bullpen.
“I really like Lopie a lot and I think he’s got a lot of value, whether that’s in the rotation or in the ‘pen.”
Baltimore native Bruce Zimmermann could pitch again this season. He’s on the 60-day injured list with a sprained ankle.
“I think if all things trend correctly, and they are heading in the right direction, I think you could possibly see him be here at the end of the year,” Hyde said.
Zimmermann hasn’t pitched for the Orioles since June 13 at Tropicana Field, with his original injury described as left biceps tendinitis. He sprained the ankle after completing his injury rehab assignment with Triple-A Norfolk and doing some leg exercises in the weight room.
Tonight’s lineup doesn’t include middle infielder Jorge Mateo, who’s among the players dealing with an ailment. Mateo was slow to get out of the batter’s box last night on a ground ball and showed his frustration on his return to the dugout.
“I don’t know if that was a slip or his lower back grabbed on him a little bit,” Hyde said, “but he’s been playing banged up and wanted to give him a much-needed day off.”
Left-hander Zac Lowther starts Sunday’s series finale against the Blue Jays. Hyde hasn’t revealed his other starter for Saturday’s doubleheader.
Mountcastle has hit safely in 11 of 12 games against Toronto this season, slashing .381/.480/.786 (16-for-42) with five home runs, 10 RBIs and 11 runs scored. For his career, he’s hit safely in 17 of 19 games and batted .366/.438/.690 (26-for-71) with seven home runs.
The seven homers are the most against any opponent.
For the Blue Jays
George Springer DH
Marcus Semien 2B
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 1B
Bo Bichette SS
Teoscar Hernández RF
Alejandro Kirk C
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. LF
Jake Lamb 3B
Jarrod Dyson CF
Robbie Ray LHP