Angels’ Harvey Is Sidelined : Rookie Reliever to Have Surgery; Brewers Win, 6-5
The American League rookie of the year campaign for Bryan Harvey came to an abrupt halt Tuesday night when the Angels learned that their 25-year-old relief pitcher will require arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone fragment in his right elbow.
Midway through the Angels’ 6-5 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers at Anaheim Stadium, the club announced that results of Monday’s tomogram X-ray showed “evidence of a loose body” in Harvey’s elbow--a bone chip or spur that was causing Harvey’s arm to lock on certain pitches.
Surgery was recommended by Angel team physician Dr. Lewis Yocum and will be scheduled for some time next week at Inglewood’s Centinela Hospital Medical Center.
So much for Angel Manager Cookie Rojas’ assessment on Monday that Harvey’s condition was “just a matter of one day or so.” So much for Harvey’s contention that the injury was “no big deal.”
Tuesday, the deal was discovered to be big enough to keep Harvey inactive for at least three months. Yocum said Harvey would be able to resume throwing by December and “should be fully recovered by spring training.”
Thus Harvey will end his rookie season the same way he began it--off the Angels’ active roster. Opening the season in triple-A Edmonton, Harvey didn’t join the Angels until April 21, when he was recalled to replace pitcher Frank DiMichele.
In between promotion and surgery, Harvey appeared in 50 games. He saved 17--converting all but 7 save opportunities--and compiled a record of 7-5. His 2.13 earned-run average was among the lowest in the American League, as was the .214 batting average he allowed opposing hitters.
Such numbers, the Angels believe, warrant Harvey rookie-of-the-year consideration, and toward that end, they mailed Bryan Harvey fact sheets to baseball reporters across the country last week. A few more saves during the season’s final two weeks would have aided the cause, no doubt, but those credentials will now have to do in the race against Oakland’s Walt Weiss, Chicago’s Melido Perez and Boston’s Jody Reed.
Harvey’s resume for 1988 is complete.
And his last appearance, last Sunday afternoon against Texas, will be remembered as one of Harvey’s least effective. He was credited with the decision in the Angels’ 6-5, come-from-behind victory--but only after blowing a 4-1 ninth-inning lead by surrendering a grand slam to Pete O’Brien.
Harvey had been bothered by periodic inflammation in his elbow since the All-Star break, but his condition worsened after Sunday’s outing.
“There was more puffing and swelling in the elbow than there had been before,” Yocum said. “That’s when I became more concerned and ordered the tomogram.”
Harvey had the arm X-rayed Monday and afterward downplayed the seriousness of the injury. “It’s all right,” he told reporters. “I had this problem two months ago but it went away and everything worked out.”
So what happened between Monday and Tuesday?
Tuesday, Harvey admitted he initially knew more than he was letting on.
“I knew (Monday),” he said, “but I just wanted to wait for the (test) results to find out for sure.”
Using a two-run home run in the eighth inning and a tie-breaking single in the ninth by .196-hitting shortstop Gary Sheffield, the Brewers rallied from a 5-2 deficit Tuesday night to record their 6-5 win over the Angels. With the victory, Milwaukee kept pace with American League East leader Boston, a 13-2 winner over Toronto, to remain within 5 games of the lead. Ted Higuera (14-5) pitched 8 innings of 5-hit baseball for the victory, besting the Angels’ Greg Minton (4-5). Minton replaced starter Dan Petry in the eighth inning after Petry had yielded 4 runs on 8 hits.