The Angels announced that right-hander Matt Harvey is heading to the 10-day injured list with an upper back strain. In other moves, the Angels recalled righty Taylor Cole from Triple-A Salt Lake, optioned reliever Luke Bard and reinstated reliever Luis Garcia from the IL.
Harvey’s injury continues what has been a disastrous campaign for the ex-Met and Red, whom the Angels signed to a one-year, $11MM guarantee in the offseason. Early in his Mets stint, Harvey was among the game’s brightest stars. However, he suffered multiple significant arm injuries as his New York tenure progressed and hasn’t been much more than a back-end starter in recent seasons.
To Harvey’s credit, after the Reds acquired him from the Mets last May, he pitched well enough to lock in a decent payday with the Angels. But the move hasn’t paid off at all for Los Angeles, which has seen the 30-year-old average fewer than five innings over his 10 starts and pitch to a horrid 7.50 ERA/6.11 FIP with 6.56 K/9 against 3.94 BB/9 across 48 frames. Among pitchers who have thrown at least 40 innings this season, Harvey ranks last in ERA, sixth worst in fWAR (minus-0.3) and 11th from the bottom in K/BB ratio (1.67).
Fortunately for the Angels, they’re set to welcome back Andrew Heaney to take Harvey’s place in their rotation. Heaney hasn’t pitched yet this season on account of elbow inflammation, but he was one of the Angels’ most effective starters a year ago. If his 2018 performance is any indication, Heaney should be an easy upgrade over Harvey.