Starting pitcher Matt Harvey re-signed with the Orioles in early April shortly after the lockout was ended by a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Most viewed his arrival in the Orioles rotation as a formality, but September looms around the corner and Harvey is still in Norfolk having not thrown a single pitch for the big club this season.
Will the Dark Knight feature for the Orioles before the 2022 season is over? In short, don’t count on it.
Despite facing (and later serving) a 60-game suspension for revelations discovered in his testimony for the Eric Kay/Tyler Skaggs case, Matt Harvey was signed with the expectation that he would eventually join the big league rotation that entered the season with far more questions than answers. Unfortunately for the right hander, the season hasn’t quite transpire the way Harvey may have hoped.
Will Matt Harvey factor into the Orioles’ plans in September?
The 33 year old has spent the bulk of 2022 with AAA Norfolk. His numbers are alarming; not only does Harvey have a 5.23 ERA, but it’s also accompanied by a FIP over two runs higher (7.38). The once-prodigious strikeout artist has managed a K/9 just above six and is walking nearly four and a half batters per nine innings. 21.8% of the fly balls Harvey has given up have been home runs. There seems to be no trace of bad luck here; Harvey simply hasn’t been effective.
Another unexpected wrinkle preventing Matt Harvey from reaching Baltimore? The Orioles rotation, while not spectacular, has actually been decent this year! The rotation has experienced turnover throughout 2022 but has managed to accumulate 5.7 WAR (per FanGraphs) and a 4.48 ERA. Tyler Wells went from Rule 5 pick to promising young starter. Bruce Zimmermann helped set the table in April with Dean Kremer, Austin Voth and Spenser Watkins picking up the baton when Zimmermann began to struggle and was sent down. Jordan Lyles has been the ideal veteran innings eater, the very role for which Harvey was signed.
Even with the rosters expanding in September, Matt Harvey joining the Orioles seems a long shot. The rotation appears to be set for the rest of the season with Lyles, Kremer, Watkins, Voth, and Kyle Bradish. In the event of poor performance or injury, Wells is in the advanced stages of rehabbing an oblique injury and could rejoin the team soon. Top prospect Grayson Rodriguez is throwing off of a mound again after being struck with a lat strain. Either pitcher would almost assuredly be given the chance before Harvey, and he will likely have to wait until 2023 to get another crack at the majors.