Thanks to a soft mattress, Texas Rangers starting pitcher Matt Harrison will most likely start the 2014 season in the same place he ended the 2013 season — on the disabled list.
After missing nearly two weeks early in spring training, Harrison got behind in his throwing program as he tries to work his way back from a 2013 season that saw him make just two April starts before being shut down for the entire season and undergo multiple back surgeries, including thoracic outlet surgery.
Harrison made his spring debut in an "A game" earlier this week, breezed through the first inning and then ran into problems and couldn't get out of the second. No worries, he's still trying to knock a year's worth of rust off his arm and get the feel for his pitches back, and he hopes to have both of those accomplished by mid-April.
Originally, it was thought Harrison could return to the rotation by the Rangers' second or third series of the season, but now the tune has changed as the club wants to ease him back and take it slow with a guy that projects as a No. 2 starter if he's healthy, something the Rangers desperately need.
Look for him to make at least a few starts in the minors — in Round Rock or Frisco — and try to work up to 100 pitches before he sniffs a big-league mound, but barring any further setbacks all parties seem to think that will happen sooner rather than later.