Matt Harrison gets his second start in the minors


Apr 6, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Matt Harrison (center) meets on the mound with catcher A.J. Pierzynski (12) and pitching coach Mike Maddux (31) during the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Frisco, Tex –  Texas Rangers starting pitcher Matt Harrison continued his rehab assignment today with the Frisco Rough Riders.  His first start this past Thursday didn’t go on the books due to the game being postponed due to rain.

Harrison was a bit upset he wasn’t able to finish the game on Thursday, but it’s probably a good thing.  He didn’t appear to pitch very well and he gave up a few early runs.

Inching towards the majors: Today Matt Harrison pitched much better than he did on Thursday and possible during spring training.  He worked a quick 1-2-3 first inning.  Also, in the first, there was a weak hit ball that rolled towards the first base line and Harrison was able to get off the mound effortlessly to field the ball for the out.

Harrison was able to mix up his pitches very well today and had very good command for most of the game.  He seemed to have a quicker pace today and was able to get several ground balls with weak contact.  According to the broadcast, his fastball was in the upper 80s and topped out at hit 89 MPH.

He was only scheduled for 65 pitches today against Arkansas.  It looked like he would manage to get through 5 innings today, but Arkansas lead off the 5th with a double.  The Rough Riders were able to get 2 quick outs, but the next batter hit an RBI double.  After that, Harrison’s day was done.  He pitched 4.2 innings and recorded 3 strike outs, 1 earned run and no walks.   This was in my opinion his best outing this year.  He managed to get in 62 pitches/63% for strikes.

Dialing things in: Even though he did have a good day, he’s still not ready for the Rangers rotation.  Jon Daniels and the Texas Rangers want to see him get his pitch count up around 100 before they’ll consider him ready.  Today was a very good stepping stone towards that benchmark.  He could return as early as April 26, but it is likely they’ll try to keep him in the minors for his full 30-day assignment, which ends May 3rd.  His next starts are likely going to be April 13 and 18.