Matt Harvey
Getty Images

Angels place Matt Harvey on 10-day injured list

2 Comments

The Angels placed starter Matt Harvey on the 10-day injured list with an upper back strain, the team revealed Saturday. In a series of roster moves, they also recalled Taylor Cole from Triple-A Salt Lake, optioned Luke Bard to Triple-A, and reinstated Luís Garcia from the 10-day IL (lumbar spine strain spasm).

While the severity of Harvey’s injury was not disclosed, there’s no question the right-hander has had a rough go of it this season. He’s struggled to pitch beyond the fifth inning in seven of 10 starts and all but imploded in his outing against the Twins on Thursday, during which he allowed a season-worst eight runs — including a career-high four home runs — over just 2 2/3 innings.

Shortly after Thursday’s debacle, club manager Brad Ausmus told reporters there had been no conversation about removing Harvey from his spot in the rotation, but that no longer appears to be the case. Per Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, Ausmus said Harvey contracted the back pain during his start and “kept [the] injury to himself.” It’s not clear how long he’ll be sidelined.

In the interim, however, the Angels will fill out their rotation with left-hander Andrew Heaney. Heaney, 27, was activated from the 10-day IL on Friday after dealing with a bout of inflammation in his left elbow. He’ll take the mound against the Rangers during Sunday’s series finale at 4:07 PM EDT.

Report: Some MLB teams using outside labs for COVID-19 testing

MLB COVID-19 testing
Jason Koerner/Getty Images
1 Comment

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Zach Buchanan report that the Diamondbacks are one of several teams that have used labs other than the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory in Utah to process COVID-19 testing. MLB has encountered delays with its testing, despite promising 24-hour turnaround time, so teams have tried other avenues — with the league’s endorsement — in order to get faster results.

The SMRTL had processed performance-enhancing drug screenings for MLB. The league converted it to process COVID-19 tests amid concerns that having a season and all of the testing that would be required throughout would take away testing resources from the general public. That some teams are utilizing labs other than the SMRTL suggests the league, indeed, is usurping those resources.

In prospect Seth Beer’s case, he tested positive for COVID-19. He needed to test negative twice consecutively to be cleared to return to play. Beer went to a third-party site in the Phoenix area. He received his second negative test and was cleared to return on July 9.

The Diamondbacks said that the labs they have used have assured them that they are not taking away tests from the public. That seems like a claim MLB and the D-Backs should demonstrably prove. Per Rosenthal and Buchahan, the D-Backs have gone to an outside lab about 20 times, which accounts for less than one percent of COVID-19 tests taken by players and staff. Still, those are 20 tests that could have been used by the general public. And if the D-Backs and a handful of other teams already are using outside labs, then the rest of the league likely already is or soon will be doing the same. In the end, there will be a lot more than 20 tests taken at outside labs by MLB players and staff. Considering that “Tier 1” players will be tested every other day throughout the season, the total of third-party tests taken — if things continue the way they are now — could easily reach into the thousands by the end of October.

We all want baseball back, but the players, coaches, and all other staff are no more important than cashiers, teachers, and delivery drivers, so they shouldn’t have more access to COVID-19 testing simply by virtue of being associated with Major League Baseball and all of its influence and financial muscle. It would be unethical for MLB to be cutting in line ahead of other people who need testing just as much as if not more than the players.