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)
Matt Harrison didn't have the 2013 he, or the Texas Rangers would have hoped. In fact, he barely had a 2013 as far as baseball goes.
Harrison earned the honor of being the Rangers Opening Night starter against the new division rival Houston Astros, and was shelled on national television. He made his next start, another stinker, and was then shut down before eventually undergoing two back surgeries and missing the rest of the season after being expected to be a very strong No. 2 in the Rangers' rotation.
Now, he's looking to get back to that point, and even moreso because the Rangers are set to be without their projected No. 2 starter Derek Holland for at least half of the season after he underwent microfracture surgery on his knee.
Harrison is in Arlington this week for a mid-winter pitching camp at Rangers Ballpark, and enters the week being cleared to throw lightly from a mound, but he hopes that gets ramped up pretty quickly.
"Everything is going well," Harrison told MLB.com. "I haven't had any issues with the back. Everything has been feeling good."
That's music to the Rangers' ears, and so far, Harrison is on track to be at full strength and ready to hit the ground running when pitchers and catchers report in a little more than three weeks.
"It's unfortunate what happened to Derek," Harrison told MLB.com. "I know what it's like to get hurt. Hopefully, he gets back on the mound as soon as possible. As far as my situation, I've got to focus on what I've got to do, be healthy and go out and make every start this year. That's all I can do."