Frisco, Texas – Texas Rangers starting pitcher Matt Harrison started for the Frisco Rough Riders in their home opener yesterday. On what should have been a nice sunny day to start the season instead had dark looming clouds on the horizon. That could almost sum up how Harrison’s night would look.
Harrison was scheduled to pitch 4 innings/64 pitches Thursday night. After the first inning, it didn’t look like he would get that deep in the game. He quickly gave up 2 runs in the first.
Even if the weather would have held up, Harrison, in my opinion, wouldn’t have made it to the fourth inning. Harrison returned to the mound in the third inning, but after a few pitches the skies opened up and the rain poured down. Off in the distance a tornado can be seen.
— Baseball Do (@BaseballDo) April 4, 2014
At that point the score was tied 2-2, but Harrison wasn’t having the night he was hoping. Harrison managed to get in 41 pitches of work over two complete innings. He was getting his velocity up to around 90-92 MPH. That wasn’t the part Harrison was probably worried about, it was his command and his ability to locate the ball. Both velocity and command have improved greatly since he started pitching in spring training. Harrison just needs a few more starts to dial things in.
The Rangers want Matt Harrison to get his pitch count up to 100 before considering bringing him up. Nothing official yet when he’ll start again, but he it is likely he’ll pitch again on Tuesday. Harrison has a tentative return date of April 26, but I would expect that to be closer to sometime early May.