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Harvey placed on injured list with back strain

Garcia activated from IL; Bard optioned to Triple-A
@RhettBollinger
May 25, 2019

ANAHEIM -- The Angels placed struggling right-hander Matt Harvey on the injured list with an upper back strain on Saturday and recalled reliever Taylor Cole to take his place on the roster. Harvey, signed to a one-year deal worth $11 million in the offseason, has posted an American League-worst 7.50

ANAHEIM -- The Angels placed struggling right-hander Matt Harvey on the injured list with an upper back strain on Saturday and recalled reliever Taylor Cole to take his place on the roster.

Harvey, signed to a one-year deal worth $11 million in the offseason, has posted an American League-worst 7.50 ERA in 10 starts. He’s coming off one of the worst starts of his career after allowing eight runs, including four homers, in 2 2/3 innings in a loss to the Twins on Thursday. He said after that outing that he felt fine physically and manager Brad Ausmus said he’s not sure when Harvey suffered the injury.

“I don’t know when it started,” Ausmus said. “I know when I was made aware, and that was after his last start. [He said] that it was having an impact on him. And that he was kind of keeping it [to] himself. He had to get through this thing to get better.”

Harvey wasn’t available for comment before Saturday’s game, but said on Sunday that he wasn’t suffering from any injuries despite a decrease in velocity in his recent starts.

"I feel good, I feel healthy," Harvey said. "It's just the ball's not coming out right."

Ausmus didn’t see anything wrong physically with Harvey in that start either, but reiterated he doesn’t know when the symptoms started for Harvey.

“I can’t say that I noticed anything,” Ausmus said. “Maybe he felt fine. I don’t know when it started. I can’t really tell you.”

Left-hander Andrew Heaney will be reinstated from the injured list on Sunday to take Harvey’s spot in the rotation, but Ausmus said there’s a chance they still might use six starters with the club in the midst of a stretch of being scheduled for 20 straight days with a game. Heaney has been out this season with left elbow inflammation.

Additionally, reliever Luis García was activated from the 10-day injured list after being out 12 days with a lower back strain. Reliever Luke Bard was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake. Garcia has posted a 2.25 ERA with nine strikeouts and 13 walks in 16 innings this season.

“It’s good,” Ausmus said. “We need him to pitch and pitch well. He’s a guy with really good stuff who can get swings and misses and get big outs. It’s nice to get him back and hopefully he’s the guy we saw early in the season.”

Angels host Pitch Hit & Run

The Angels hosted a Pitch Hit & Run competition at Angel Stadium on Saturday that included four age groups with both a baseball division and a softball division.

In the age group that included 13 and 14 year olds, Brayden Mantooth from Menifee, Calif., won the baseball division, while Yasmin De La Rosa from Rosemead, Calif., finished first in the softball division.

Jaylen Anderson of Moreno Valley, Calif., won the softball division among 11 and 12 year olds, while Trevor Busby of Yucaipa, Calif., was the winner of the baseball division.

In the nine- to 10-year-old division, Aaron Anderson of Glendora, Calif., finished first in the baseball competition, while Destiny Mendoza of Moreno Valley, Calif., won the softball competition.

Finally, in the seven- to eight-year-old bracket, Maykayla Salcedo of Hacienda Heights finished first in the softball division, and George Guerrero of Indio, Calif., won the baseball division.

Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.