Hunter Harvey felt soreness in his right triceps following his outing on Saturday, and is set to undergo an MRI today to fully access any damage. Nationals manager Davey Martinez told reporters (including Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com) that “more than likely,” Harvey will be headed to the 15-day injured list since “I’d rather be very careful, very cautious with him.” X-rays were “clean” on Harvey’s arm yesterday, so that it at least some positive news that the right-hander has avoided another serious injury.
However, the Nats’ caution is certainly understandable given the potential seriousness of any triceps or elbow-related injury, as well as Harvey’s own personal injury history. Most prominently, Harvey underwent a Tommy John surgery in 2016, and his career has been repeatedly stalled by various health issues. After Washington claimed him off waivers from the Giants in March 2022, Harvey made four appearances for the Nats before missing close to three months with a right pronator strain.
When Harvey has been able to pitch, he has been quite effective over his two seasons with the Nationals. Since the start of the 2022 campaign, the righty has a 2.82 ERA, 28.5% strikeout rate, and a 7.6% walk rate over 79 2/3 relief innings. Harvey has also racked up nine saves since taking over the closer’s job from Kyle Finnegan, further enhancing both his value to the Nats and his potential worth as a deadline trade chip.
Because of the stop-and-start nature of Harvey’s injury-hampered career, he is only in his first year of arbitration eligibility, so Washington still holds team control over his services through the 2025 season. This means that Harvey wasn’t a surefire candidate to be moved at the deadline, but with the Nationals still in rebuild mode, there was certainly an argument to be made for D.C. to sell high on Harvey. Unfortunately, it now doesn’t seem that Harvey will even be back from the IL before the August 1 deadline, unless a clean MRI and no lingering soreness results in a minimum 15-day absence. Even then, it’s hard to imagine that a trade suitor would be willing to give up any sort of decent return without some clear evidence that Harvey is healthy.