Matt Harvey
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Angels designate Matt Harvey for assignment

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The Angels have designated right-hander Matt Harvey for assignment, per an official announcement on Friday. It’s a predictable end to a rough campaign for the starter, who signed a one-year, $11 million deal with the club last December and has delivered a career-worst 7.09 ERA and -0.3 fWAR through the first half of the 2019 season.

Part of Harvey’s struggles can be traced back to the upper back strain he sustained in late May, an injury that kept him on the shelf for seven weeks and hampered his effectiveness when he was finally activated from the IL in July. Since his return, he’s gone 1-1 in two starts, allowing a cumulative seven runs, eight walks, and four strikeouts across 11 2/3 innings. Following his most recent start, a 6-2 loss to the Astros on Thursday, Harvey chalked up his struggles to “a couple bad pitches, a couple stupid pitches I made, thinking I can still throw it by people” and admitted that if he had pitched a little smarter, he would’ve left the Angels in a more advantageous position against their division rivals.

While he’s undoubtedly due for a tune-up on his mechanics, he won’t get that chance in Anaheim. Still, there’s undoubtedly a minor league contract with his name on it somewhere, assuming he passes through waivers unclaimed.

In subsequent roster moves, the Angels also optioned right-hander Jake Jewell to Triple-A Salt Lake and recalled righty Jaime Barria and lefty/first baseman Jared Walsh. Right-handed reliever Keynan Middleton was diagnosed with mild ulnar neuritis in his elbow and will continue to spend his recovery on the injured list.

Sunday, 2:07 PM EDT: The Angels have released Matt Harvey.

Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife gives birth

Zack Wheeler miss starts
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Per The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife goes into labor and gives birth to their first child, expected to be later this month. Wheeler, in fact, is not sure if he will return to play at all once their child is born.

Wheeler said, “We just have to see how things are here at the field and at the stadium. I’m happy with what I see so far. But things could change, especially once our baby’s born. I always think about what’s going on around me. Is it safe? Is it OK? Literally every single day. I have to just ask myself that. I’m going to continue to keep asking myself that every day.”

Wheeler, 30, inked a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies in December. He is slated for the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind Aaron Nola. Last season, with the Mets, Wheeler posted a 3.96 ERA with 195 strikeouts and 50 walks over 195 1/3 innings.

The No. 5 spot in the Phillies’ rotation is currently up for grabs between Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, Ranger Suárez, and prospect Spencer Howard. One of the remaining three could fill in for Wheeler when he needs time off, temporarily or otherwise.