Harvey, 24, is expected to be on a throwing program for the next six to eight weeks. Alderson believes that the AFL could represent the young ace's best opportunity to face live hitters in a game setting -- the ultimate test for his ailing elbow.
The right-hander was diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow at the end of August. While the typical recourse for a UCL tear is Tommy John surgery, Harvey decided last week that he wants to try rehabbing his elbow for a few months before conceding to going under the knife.
The AFL is usually reserved for minor-league prospects, but players with major league time (e.g. Mike Trout) have played there in the past. It is unclear what rules there are, if any, about major league players using it as a setting for a rehab assignment of sorts.
The six-team league, which features an amalgam of young players from five organizations on each club, kicks off Oct. 8 and concludes Nov. 16. There will be three games just about every day in that span, so if Harvey does make the trek to the Southwest, he should have plenty of opportunities to throw.