If there was one thing the Texas Rangers couldn't afford this season with their new-look offense it was to see one of their top three starting pitchers go down with an injury.
Matt Harrison was the Rangers' Opening Day starter, but more realistically is the No. 2 pitcher on the club behind Yu Darvish. Whatever his status, Harrison is an innings eater and was the team's most consistent option last season as he put up a really solid ERA and led the team in innings pitched.
So it's of great concern that Harrison, who was put on the disabled list last week after two ineffective starts, isn't reacting well to injections in his back to help relieve an inflammed nerve that has reportedly weakened his legs.
The original plan was for Harrison to miss two starts as Justin Grimm was called up to replace him while a cortisone injection worked its magic. That didn't happen, and over the weekend Harrison had to get a second shot. That's never a good sign.
“It’s frustrating,” Harrison said in a text message to the Star-Telegram's Jeff Wilson. “The first shot didn’t work as well as planned, and I got another one yesterday [Saturday]. Hopefully, it works.”
Yes, hopefully it does. As bad as Harrison was in his first two starts, a lot of that has to be chalked up to his back issue. You expect Darvish, Harrison and Derek Holland to be solid contributors with Alexi Ogando being a wild card and Nick Tepesch being a prayer. If this back thing ends up being a lingering issue for Harrison, the Rangers could be in some serious trouble.