A's make Harvey their latest reclamation project
OAKLAND -- The A’s have a track record of helping veteran pitchers recapture their glory. Perhaps Matt Harvey is next in line for a career renaissance.
Feeling they can never have too much pitching depth, the A’s added to that with the signing of Harvey to a Minor League deal. The right-hander will report to Triple-A Las Vegas and is slated to make his first start on Saturday.
Harvey began the 2019 season with the Angels, struggling to a 7.09 ERA across 12 starts. Harvey allowed 13 homers and an .887 OPS to opposing hitters before Los Angeles designated him for assignment and released him last month.
“Just had a tough time this year over in Anaheim, but you look at some of the stuff -- it doesn’t look too much different than it did last year,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said before Thursday’s game against the Astros. “We’ll give him some starts at Triple-A and see where we are with that."
Given the way he performed against the A’s at the Coliseum earlier this year, Melvin would have never guessed Harvey would end up getting cut by any team. In his first start of the season on March 29, Harvey held Oakland to two runs over six innings in a 6-2 win.
“He came out and looked like he was throwing hard and elevating like he has in the past,” Melvin said. “I was surprised with where his numbers went after that. He’s a good guy to take a chance on.”
There’s no guarantee Harvey makes it to the big leagues with the A’s. Along with five solid starters who have combined to post a 2.62 ERA over their last 15 starts, the club also expects 2018 ace Sean Manaea, who is slated to be pushed up to 100 pitches in a rehab start with Triple-A Las Vegas on Sunday, to return from left shoulder surgery soon.
But whether you look at Edwin Jackson or Trevor Cahill last year, or the career-best season Brett Anderson is currently putting together, there might not be a better spot for Harvey to revitalize his career than Oakland.
“I think we are a place that maybe some guys that are free agents look to,” Melvin said. “We’re not afraid to take a chance on a guy that’s been banged up a little bit. I think any pitcher in his situation right now, you would probably look to our club for an opportunity because we’ve resurrected quite a few guys in the past.”
When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that. Within seven days of the transaction, the player must either be released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.
Canha sits with hand issue
After playing center field in every game since Ramón Laureano went on the 10-day injured list on July 31, Mark Canha was given a day off Thursday to rest a sore left hand that developed after he banged it against the outfield wall while making a catch Wednesday in a win over the Giants.
“Best to try to take care of it first day back as opposed to maybe having it linger some,” Melvin said. “We knew this would come up at some point.”
Chad Pinder, who has established himself as the A’s super-utility man, got the start in center. Though it’s his first time playing at the position in 2019, Pinder started two games there last season and has played the position a total of 11 times over his four seasons in the Majors.