ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 11: Matt Harrison #54 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Cleveland Indians at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on September 11, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
It's not safe to assume that Matt Harrison is going to be pitching in 2014 like he did in 2011 and 2012, when he was close to being the Texas Rangers' ace and was definitely a strong No. 2 option.
Harrison will likely need a month or so to ease back into the rotation, and that's if things go well. But there's a problem in that Derek Holland will be out for at least three months, if not longer.
Harrison, however, said he's not feeling any added pressure to try to make up for the loss of Holland, and he really shouldn't. He can only do what he can do.
"What happened to Derek [Holland] is unfortunate, but I can't add any more pressure to myself to go out there and do something, because if I push too hard, it may be too much," Harrison told ESPN Dallas.
Putting pressure on himself to help alleviate Holland's absence and the open battle for the fifth rotation spot won't help Harrison ease back into the majors after missing nearly the entire 2013 season. Harrison's a guy that is well known for taking a highly mental approach to the game and reading self-help books after being left off the 2010 postseason rosters. It helped tremendously, and he'll have to keep that same mental approach to overcome the pressure that will be on him, warranted or not.
"At this point, I don't want to put any pressure on myself. But I know I need to step up and be out there every five days and do my job," Harrison told ESPN Dallas. "Hopefully, I'm off the injury wagon."