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Monday, January 20, 2014

Rangers' Matt Harrison to increase throwing in mid-winter camp in prep for Spring Training


By on 1/20/2014 06:00:00 PM

Texas Rangers left-handed pitcher Matt Harrison is making steady progress in his recovery from surgery to repair herniated discs in his back, which sidelined him very early in the 2013 season. He started throwing lightly some time ago, but he is now ready to do more. MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reported on Monday that Harrison will join some teammates in the Rangers' mid-winter camp later this week.

By Keith Allison, via Wikimedia Commons
Harrison said that he will "ramp it up a bit," meaning he will start throwing harder and working harder at the mini-camp.

The Rangers and Harrison expect him to return to full strength by the time Rangers pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on February 16 in Surprise, Arizona. Sullivan quotes Harrison as saying, "Everything is going well. I haven't had any issues with the back. Everything has been feeling good."

Harrison had his surgery on April 23 after just two starts. He lost both games, but the discs may have been the main reason. His career record of 48-30, 4.08 ERA, and 1.26 WHIP in his five-years from 2008-2012 indicate much better performance. From 2011-2012, Harrison is 32-20, 3.34 ERA, and 1.27 WHIP.

The Rangers have already lost Derek Holland from their rotation for at least half the season, possibly much more, because of knee surgery, so they have a spot open. Harrison briefly discussed the loss of Holland along with his own preparation. Said Harrison,
"It's unfortunate what happened to Derek. I know what it's like to get hurt. Hopefully, he gets back on the mound as soon as possible. As far as my situation, I've got to focus on what I've got to do, be healthy and go out and make every start this year. That's all I can do."
The Rangers' rotation will likely consist of Yu Darvish, Alexi Ogando, and Martin Perez at the front. Harrison would compete with Colby Lewis, Tanner Scheppers, and Robbie Ross for the final two spots. The Rangers are also in the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes. Whatever role Harrison gets, he will help his club.

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