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MLB bans Orioles pitcher Matt Harvey for 60 games

Though not directly linked to his teammate’s death, the right handed pitcher was most definitely part of its context.

Paul Rudder
Matt Harvey es suspendido 60 partidos por MLB
Baltimore SunGetty

The league has finally taken action against the Orioles pitcher after he was implicated in the trial, which resulted from the death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

MLB hands Orioles’ Matt Harvey a lengthy ban

According to an announcement from Major League Baseball on Tuesday, Orioles right-hander Matt Harvey has been suspended for the period of 60 games. This after it was deemed that he was responsible for the distribution of a banned substance, namely oxycodone. The league’s statement read as follows:

“The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Baltimore Orioles pitcher Matt Harvey has received a 60-game suspension without pay for participating in the distribution of a prohibited Drug of Abuse in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The start date of Harvey’s 60-game suspension is retroactive to April 29, 2022.”

The league’s action comes after Harvey’s testimony earlier this year in the trial of former Los Angeles employee Eric Kay for his role in the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs. Kay provided Skaggs with the drugs that ultimately led to his death.

What happened to Tyler Skaggs?

On July 1st 2019 Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs was found unresponsive in his hotel room and was pronounced dead later that afternoon. Skaggs’ had been traveling with the team at the time. Ultimately, his death was deemed to be the result of asphyxiation, having choked on his own vomit. This was due to an accidental overdose - made worse by alcohol consumption - of oxydone and fentanyl, the latter of which is a synthetic opioid some 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin. The bigger picture, however, was that Skaggs was the victim of the continued opioid crisis and more over was helped along the path by the irresponsibility and negligence of others. The most culpable of those being Eric Kay who was finally convicted on two felony counts of distributing the drug fentanyl, which ultimately led to Skaggs’ death.

Matt Harvey’s connection to Tyler Skaggs’ death

During his admission in federal court Harvey testified that he would provide Skaggs with Percocet pills, and that painkiller usage was common among MLB players in 2019. Harvey would also go on to disclose that after being told he wasn’t traveling with the Angels on what would become Skaggs’ tragically final trip, he asked Kay for an oxycodone pill. Upon waking up the following day and learning of Skaggs’ death, Harvey informed the court that he threw away the pill, fearing the same could happen to him. Interestingly, Harvey also admitted that he used cocaine and that he gave oxycodone to Skaggs in addition to receiving it from him. It should be noted that though Harvey was granted immunity in exchange for his testimony, it understandably didn’t apply to the league itself, which is now apparent with his sanctioning.

Who is Matt Harvey?

Once a key player for the New York Mets, Harvey has since become a journeyman. Bouncing from the Cincinnati Reds to the Angels, then onto the Kansas City Royals and most recently the Baltimore Orioles, the pitcher has made the rounds. Now 33 some might say that his best days are behind him as last season he went 6-14 with a 6.27 ERA in 28 starts for the Orioles last season. Now on a minor league contract, Harvey has quite frankly not been able to perform at a major league level since 2018.


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