Rangers’ Matt Harrison Has Clean MRI

FEB. 24: It's good news for the Rangers, as Harrison's MRI came back clean, tweets Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com. Though Harrison will not be ready by Opening Day, he is expected to re-start his throwing program in just two days.

FEB. 20: After missing most of last season due to a series of surgeries — two relating to a herniated disk in his back along with a procedure on his non-throwing shoulder — southpaw Matt Harrison entered camp hopeful of regaining his form as one of the Rangers' top starters. But after experiencing lower back stiffness, Harrison is now set for an MRI and examination by his spine surgeon, reports Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.

Harrison will not participate in baseball activities until his appointment on Monday, at the earliest. The news was met with a blend of concern and cautious optimism. "With everything he went through last year, there is a level of concern," said GM Jon Daniels. "Hopefully, it's just some irritation from getting going. … He did a lot this winter without having any issues." Harrison, too, acknowledged "some concern" but said he "hope[s] that it's not a serious issue."

The 28-year-old inked a five-year, $55MM extension in January of last year, but has not yet had much of a chance to make good on it. Fortunately for the club, an insurance policy is reportedly in place that should ease the burden of his absence on the pocketbook.

But with sights set on a World Series run, cost savings will not ameliorate the impact on the field of any missed time. The Rangers are already dealing with an injury to another key starter, Derek Holland. It is far from clear, of course, whether Harrison's injury — even if it is serious — would precipitate a new addition. But as ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick wrote recently, the club already faced questions at the back of the rotation, where several candidates are vying for spots. Yu Darvish, Martin Perez, and Alexi Ogando figure to be good bets to occupy a regular turn, but several players of less-certain capabilities line up behind them. The team recently signed Tommy Hanson, adding him to a mix that potentially includes Robbie Ross, Tanner Scheppers, Nick Tepesch, Michael Kirkman, and Colby Lewis


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83 Comments on "Rangers’ Matt Harrison Has Clean MRI"


Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

Ouch…Better hope this is just precautionary only. No offense to those cited as replacements but that is not a very solid rotation. Will Santana become a part of conversation now?

1 year 6 months ago

That’s a big ouchie for the Rangers. Wonder if they’ll try to sign Santana now. I like Harrison, he is a solid pitcher and hopefully it’s nothing serious.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

he really is a solid pitcher, its a shame he is now having issues like this.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

i hope we don’t sign him. He gives up bombs galore….or at least he did when he threw against us while with the Angels.

1 year 6 months ago

Gotta figure Santana’s agent gets a call if Harrison is expected to miss significant time. Texas can’t do all they’ve done this offseason (Choo, Fielder) and then go at the season with a mangled rotation.

Charlie Burns
1 year 6 months ago

Probably no on Santana. Too home run prone to pitch in Arlington.

Daniel Morairity
1 year 6 months ago

I like johan santana myself and the rangers can go get him right now if harrison is done for and the rotation would look like this:
Yu Darvish
Johan Santana
Martin Perez
Colby Lewis
Tommy Hanson

MadmanTX
1 year 6 months ago

Every Rangers fan will now hold our breath to see what the results are next week. I would have to figure they’ll try to add somebody if Harrison requires surgery since there are too many question marks with the retreads they’ve signed and might need a guy for more than just this season. I wonder if they could now use Moreland as trade bait to get somebody from another team who might be available?

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

I wish they had dealt Profar honestly. But whom besides the Pirates is looking for a 1B? And they are not likely to deal a SP for him.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

they need to sign Cruz and package Moreland in a deal for a bottom of the rotation arm. Out of options.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

again, whom is in the market for a Moreland? And are those bottom of the rotation arms any better than what the Rangers may use? Tepesch is an OK option since he has spent time on the big league mound. Hopefully Lewis is back. I hate Ogando in the rotation but what choice might there be? Neil Ramirez could possibly get a shot.

Juicy-Bones Phil
1 year 6 months ago

Neil Ramirez was dealt to the Cubs in the Garza deal

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

yes indeed he was.

Juicy-Bones Phil
1 year 6 months ago

Neil Ramirez was dealt to the Cubs in the Garza deal

RaysfaninMN
1 year 6 months ago

Pirates would take Moreland at the right price

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

yes, the right price for the Pirates. The Rangers would likely not trade a player thinking they were totally cornered into doing so. This would just decrease the willingness the Pirates may want to pay up. Plus, what SP would they be willing to move?

dwarfstar
1 year 6 months ago

The Pirates do not have any battle tested mlb ready s/p, now on the other hand Milwaukee has a s/p they would probably give up since they signed Garza to the largest contract in team history, and Miller park plays a lot like our park we could give them either 2 mid level prospects or Mitch Moreland
and a low level prospect for Yovani Gallardo, if we give up Moreland we would definitely have to have Cruz to make this worth while!!

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

Yovani pitching in his home town area. Interesting thought.

RaysfaninMN
1 year 6 months ago

Pirates would take Moreland at the right price

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

Ogando is great in the rotation if he can stay healthy, keep in mind he was an all star his first season as a starter. And there’s 3-4 teams that would be interested in Moreland. Also, Darv/Perez/Ogando/Tepesch so far….we’re still short 2 starters. As dominant as Scheppers is out of the pen do we really want to risk injuring him trying to stretch him out? I guarantee Moreland will be gone within a week if the MRI comes back showing regress.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

I thought that was the issue with Ogando, stretching him into a SP. I find him much better suited in a RP role but again, he has shown the capability to start. He just can’t stay healthy. The real question is if that’s attributed to the starting role or just his luck?

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

he has hardly any miles on his arm, especially since he was an outfielder…I hope he’s gonna be more durable.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

so it still begs the question, what is his deal?

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

i honestly think he’ll be fine this year…but we still have 2-3 glaring rotation holes.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

tis the joys of being a Rangers fan. When have we not had a rotational issue? They will be fine with or without Harrison. I’d like to trust that some sort of feasible plan will be put into action. This could be simply precautionary. If its season ending, well hell, but I am not writing off the season over this. Someone could step up and be stellar, we never know until it happens. We survived issues last season with a revolving rotation door. Thing was, we at least had Holland.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

the offense improved drastically. Bullpen will be great as usual….we just need some luck rotation wise.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

Ogando is great in the rotation if he can stay healthy, keep in mind he was an all star his first season as a starter. And there’s 3-4 teams that would be interested in Moreland. Also, Darv/Perez/Ogando/Tepesch so far….we’re still short 2 starters. As dominant as Scheppers is out of the pen do we really want to risk injuring him trying to stretch him out? I guarantee Moreland will be gone within a week if the MRI comes back showing regress.

Juicy-Bones Phil
1 year 6 months ago

This is a terrible idea

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

What would you suggest Jon Daniels?

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

I thought JD was somewhere around here taking advice.

gnats
1 year 6 months ago

Makes no sense to spend $15M-ish on Cruz and then trade Moreland for a BORP, when they could spend $15M on a BORP.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

Cruz is much more valuable at the DH. What pitchers are available?

gnats
1 year 6 months ago

I don’t think you’re aware that the Rangers are basically at their budget limit. Tacking on $15M for a marginal upgrade at DH, plus taking on the salary of a BORP in a trade, is not feasible.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

Budget limit? with the signings they had this offseason, whats another 15? again, give some options. Moreland will be gone within a week if the MRI is a neg.

gnats
1 year 6 months ago

Lol, okay. Well if we’re playing “forget all rules of money” we should have just signed Robinson Cano and Brian McCann too!

There are no good options, that’s the point. The only good option is to hope Harrison’s back isn’t hurt again.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

What’s the status on Colby? With the contracts we took on they obviously think this is our “Window”…so when the fan count has increased drastically at the ballpark, plus the TV deal…what’s the issue with paying for a DH? I would’ve liked to have McCann but no thanks to Cano.

gnats
1 year 6 months ago

I’m more optimistic on Colby. I think he’ll secure a spot…

The TV deal kicks in next year, and a lot of that was already spent to pay off the debts from taking over the Hicks stuff. As for the fans, I think there was some report that estimated the increase to 3-3.5M fans really only equates to an extra couple of million per year.

The problem with paying $15M for a DH is that you have a $3M DH right now in Moreland, and if you add Choice as a platoon partner (probably not going to happen, but is an option), then you have a DH option who would likely outperform Cruz, for 1/5th the price.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

Trust me….I want to see Choice perform..but theres too many “what if’s”. Obviously if he comes up and performs we’re good, but we can’t bank on him especially since he has only seen like 20 at bats.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

Well, it was either Choice or Gentry in that spot of the batting order. So, whom would you rather? I like the upside of Choice but I am also not keen on letting a guy get his feet wet when your trying to win. I am curious to see how RW uses him. We all know how partial he is to those that have been around him a while.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

thing with Cruz is you can use him in the OF if needed. But I can certainly agree, 15M could be used elsewhere.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

are the budget talks simply posturing? I mean, does anyone of us work in the Rangers financial office? I understand the point you are making and I can agree with the amount of money spent being higher than usual. But are they really over the budget or not?

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

these owners are raking in hundreds of millions with these teams, if they feel we can contend, they’ll drop another 15.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

I still do not think Cruz will return. That is not a terrible thing but I do think its a better fit for all parties. Morales is still available as well. I still think Profar should have been dealt last year or the year before. Maybe we beg Mike Young to come back for a year, lol.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

i’d much rather have Morales than Cruz. younger and a much more complete hitter…he hit 20 bombs last year with a ton of time in Safeco….he’d hit 30 here all while being productive from both sides of the plate.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

but he (Morales) is only a DH. OK, well he can stand over at 1B part of the time but is not a very good glove man.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

agreed. But Prince plays EVERY GAME : )

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

I think Prince will have his fair share of DH duties.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

i don’t know why he would….a happy Prince will produce. An unhappy one probably won’t, if he wants to play every game at first he needs to..especially if he isn’t a defensive liability.

gnats
1 year 6 months ago

JD has publicly said that the budget would be at or around where it was last year – i.e. where it is right now. I don’t think they’re looking to spend another 10% of the budget on a player that won’t improve the team more than a win or so.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

when has JD ever shown his cards though is my point? This organization is about as closed lipped as any of them out there. I am not arguing what you think, I can agree that there has to be some budget in place. What it is depends on what Ray Davis and Bob Simpson want it to be. I think JD, if compelling enough, can get just about anyone player approved financially.

dwarfstar
1 year 6 months ago

According to everything they have said, and that has been posted yes we are over budget, but if JD sees the right deal drop in his lap if he asks Davis/Simpson to open the wallet they will!!

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

Again, that is why I don’t buy the budget talk.

Thizzie
1 year 6 months ago

Chris Capuano signing would look good at this point. Maybe John Santana, Joe Saunders or someone like that…

PXDX
1 year 6 months ago

You can’t mention a “World Series run” and then all these pitchers. Texas has the offense, but other than Darvish, its a pretty uninspiring group of SPs they have there. Texas needed Tanaka to seriously compete against Oakland. The A’s have way better depth and even though Darvish is better than anyone they have, I’d take Gray, Parker, Kazmir and even Straily over Perez and Ogando.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

Perez is a better starter than Parker, at the ripe old age of 22. But the others i would agree with. Ogando is lights out in the Pen.

BK
1 year 6 months ago

Watch for the Angels this year as well, even with a slight statistical rebound for Pujols more of second half Hambone than first and the absence of the OBP siv that is Trumbo this team could be good. They also much improved their bullpen which was a league worst.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

predicting the ALW outcome on February 20th is pointless. The Rangers will compete with the group that hits the field opening day. Look back to last season and see how many garbage men actually contributed in the rotation. They had less offense to boot. So, saying they needed Tanaka to compete is not something worth taking seriously. And let us not forget about Kazmir and his long history of injury. AS for taking players over Darvish and Perez, you sort of have to since those are the players on the A’s.

PXDX
1 year 6 months ago

Kazmir has no injury history, he had personal issues he appears to have conquered. His FIP and xFIP last year were about the same as Derek Holland’s was last year. He was a really underrated get by Oakland.

Bottom line is, Texas won 91 games last year and Oakland won 96. Did Texas improve on that 91 more than Oakland did on their 96? Oakland got a better closer, bullpen and depth. Texas lost Kinsler, but gained Prince, who will smash 50 HR but play terrible defense, negating part of his value. Profar is no lock to replace Kinsler, plus Texas lost Nathan and a lot of their bullpen. I just dont see how Texas is even close to Oakland right now, based on pitching alone.

Truth
1 year 6 months ago

Oakland also lost Colon and Balfour.. a convenient omission in you analysis

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

Plus he claimed Kazmir only had personal issues. I suppose I’d take my shoulder personally also. The fact Texas won 91 last year is a miracle of its own. Lack of the consistent potent offense and he fact that only the #1 and 2 sp remained healthy. Perez solidified the rotation when finally emerged. Let us not mention he almost singe handedly kept them afloat in the second half.

Truth
1 year 6 months ago

You also forget Texas replaced David Murphy with Choo, just a slight upgrade.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago
Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

I’d also take 50 hrs with a semi-limited 1b. Hell, Moreland can go stand over there if needed.

1 year 6 months ago

I wouldn’t call Kazmir at 2/22 an underrated get at all. He has a nice comeback season and will be worth that contract if he puts up similar numbers. But given a multi year eight figure deal to a guy who was out of the majors for 2 years underrated. The rest of your argument is sound, but that’s a stretch.

PXDX
1 year 6 months ago

I say he’s underrated in that not many are predicting he will have a sub-3 ERA this year, when if he puts up the same xFIP as he did last year, with Oaklands superior defense, that is definitely on the table.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

agreed with the OBP. But they lost tons of pop with Trumbo.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

after getting his first season under his belt..i’m really looking forward to see what Nick “Tepesch Mode” can do…i think he has good upside.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

Whew….a clean MRI. Hopefully he can look like the old Harrison..a completely solid #2.

Damon Bowman
1 year 6 months ago

Injuries happen, but somebody needs to take a serious look at how the Rangers condition and prepare their pitchers. In the last year the Rangers have lost Harrison, Lewis, Feliz, Scheppers, Darvish, and Ogando for one malady or another for various lengths of time. That’s a lot of bad luck to befall a single pitching staff. (We’re not even counting Holland’s knee issue from the fall at home.)

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

A soft mattress gives him trouble. Has a clean MRI and is still out over a month? Hmmmm…

oz10
1 year 6 months ago

Not out a month. He is back throwing. The week and half lost of preparation means he won’t be ready for opening day thus missing his first start. No need to rush him now for one start. Let him get a full spring training so he is 100% for that first, albeit delayed, start.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

So essentially he is out if he misses his first start. The start of the season is about a month away, right?

oz10
1 year 6 months ago

That’s like saying Yu is out a month because the season doesn’t start for another month. Harrison missed a week and half of preparation so they are keeping him on a normal spring training schedule and he will start the season a week and a half late. he was out a week and half. If it was the middle of the season and his arm strength was already built up he would have missed one start and been right back. If this logic doesn’t resonate with you then there is no hope. But no, he is still not out a month, he is working out now, just like everyone else.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

I am not talking about YU. I am talking about Harrison, whom will miss the first part of the season. Therefore he is out. I don’t care if he is throwing the ball in his backyard, my point is, he is missing the first part of the season. That is the bottom line. This is also the second flare up of the back, and frankly a bad back is something that tends to follow one around his entire life. There is plenty of reason for concern.

oz10
1 year 6 months ago

He was out for a grand total of 10 days and is back. 10 days does not a month make. Your IQ is obviously low so I am through trying to explain to you that he is not out a month, merely a week and half and he is doing the same workouts as everyone else albeit a week and half behind schedule.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

you spent long enough trying though, that is the comical part of it all. And back to what I tried to clarify, he is missing at least his first start and that is what I am most concerned with. Not the fact he is a week behind schedule. How long have they been in camp at this point? 14 days or so? I understand they do not want to rush him back, I agree with that thought. I just found it interesting that missing what I thought was just a week would force him to be out until perhaps his second start, which is still a MONTH away.

oz10
1 year 6 months ago

But he is not out right now, he is in spring training with everyone else, just a week and a half behind, not out a month, he is working out RIGHT NOW. And everybody is still a month away, its called spring training. Dessa, I think you need to hand over the controls back to Ben.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

that last sentence, HAHA. That was greatness. Maybe I exclude ST from my thought process, therefore I fast forward to the time that counts in the standings. I get the purpose of ST but honestly it doesn’t mean a whole lot to me. No, he is not out a literal month. I was speaking in theory he is, because again, I care simply for real game starts. Yes, the injury has put him behind schedule. I just did not think in my (fan) perspective this would be that big a deal where one would miss the start of the season.

I was also factoring in his past injury history and its something you must consider when discussing his current health status. Also keeping in mind, Colby Lewis had some mishaps regarding health and diagnoses, which translated into odd explanations. See also Derek Holland and the cloudiness of his mis-adventure.

So I am thinking of things as I state my claim, you just do not see these. My goal was to avoid a long drawn out essay, which in the end happened anyways. Good game.

oz10
1 year 4 months ago

I have come back with my tail between my legs to admit defeat seeing how Harrison is taking longer and this has surmounted to closer to a month and not a week. You can put a mark next to your name for the win.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 4 months ago

LOL. Its OK, no winners or losers here. Well, there are some losers but we won’t discuss that. I just worry the guy is not going to rebound. I can’t believe how long it has been since we last saw him pitch. They sure could use him. Scheppers needs to be in the Pen immediately. Its not that I don’t trust him starting overall, its the fact the pen is pretty weak thus far.

Daniel Morairity
1 year 6 months ago

This rotation for the rangers is still young and I still think that the rangers can get johan santana without losing a draft pick to sign ervin santana so i like that myself. BTW: there are rumors that brandon phillipps might go to the rangers because the yankees, braves, and blue jays are not interested so keep that in mind

Maxxx Depth
1 year 6 months ago

Tepesh looks good. he was great until he started wearing down. He has good stuff too, i can see him as a solid #5 possibly a #4 for years to come.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

he gained needed experience last year.