Matt Harrison set to rehab in January, but will he start?

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Texas Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison had a X-Ray preformed on his back, which came back clean, and a CT scan scheduled today.   There haven’t been any reports about the CT scan, but the Rangers are optimistic the results will comeback clean and he’ll be able to start his throwing program in January.

But, that as optimistic as anyone should be about Matt Harrison returning next season.  During the 2013 offseason around this time Harrison was working hard to strengthen his back, lose weight and prepare for the 2014 season.  During the 2013 spring training he started off with back issues after sleeping on a soft mattress.  He ended up returning to Texas to check on his back, but later return after determining his back was fine and he only needed to change his sleeping arrangement.

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Harrison started off in the minors, but was able to quickly work his was back to the major league roster.  But, his return only lasted 4 games and he was out again requiring season ending surgery.  If that sounds familiar its because he did the same thing during the 2013 season.  He only pitched in 2 games during the 2013 season before a back injury cut his season short requiring surgery.

Even though Harrison is again healthy and his back does seem to be in good condition it is very unlikely he’ll be in the starting rotation or even pitching at all with the Texas Rangers next season.  It’s not due to a lack of effort by Matt Harrison, but because of the severity of the injures and surgeries he’s had on his back.   There haven’t been many players to bounce back from a single back surgery or in his cause multiple.

The Rangers must find other options for the starting rotation and it seems likely they’ll come from within instead of a major offseason acquisition.   The Rangers have Harrison signed through the 2017 season for about $13.2 million a season.  They have an option on him for the 2018 season for  $13.25M, it includes$2M buyout.  The option is guaranteed with 200 IP in each season 2015-17.

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