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Angels release former All-Star Harvey

@RhettBollinger
July 21, 2019

SEATTLE -- The Angels released veteran right-hander Matt Harvey on Sunday, two days after he was designated for assignment. Harvey, who was signed to a one-year deal worth $11 million in the offseason, is now free to sign with any team. The Angels are still on the hook for his

SEATTLE -- The Angels released veteran right-hander Matt Harvey on Sunday, two days after he was designated for assignment.

Harvey, who was signed to a one-year deal worth $11 million in the offseason, is now free to sign with any team. The Angels are still on the hook for his contract, as a team can sign him for the prorated minimum.

Harvey, though, doesn't seem likely to join a contender, as he struggled mightily this year, posting a 7.09 ERA in 12 starts with the Angels. He struck out 39, walked 29 and gave up 13 homers in 59 2/3 innings.

Harvey missed two months with an upper back strain before returning on July 13. But the final straw came on Thursday against the Astros, as he gave up six runs over six innings. He surrendered two homers and eight batted balls with an exit velocity of more than 100 mph, per Statcast.

Harvey's velocity was slightly down this year, averaging 93.2 mph on his fastball after it averaged 94 mph in 2018. But the issues were more about Harvey's inability to miss bats, as he had the sixth-lowest strikeout percentage among the 163 pitchers who have thrown at least 50 innings this year. Harvey never struck out more than six batters in any of his 12 outings.

Harvey, a former All-Star with the Mets, has had trouble returning to his previous form since undergoing surgery to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome in 2016. Harvey had a career 2.94 ERA in 519 2/3 innings through the 2016 season even after missing the '14 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, but has posted a 5.89 ERA over 307 1/3 innings since 2017. Of the 102 pitchers to throw at least 300 innings dating back to 2017, Harvey's 5.89 ERA is the worst mark in baseball.

Walsh optioned

To make room for Sunday’s starter Dillon Peters, two-way player Jared Walsh was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake before the game.

Walsh was called up on Friday and appeared as both a first baseman and a reliever in that game. He went 0-for-1 while playing first base before moving over to the mound in the eighth and throwing a scoreless inning with two strikeouts.

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