OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 02: Matt Harrison #54 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum on October 2, 2012 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
So far, so good for Matt Harrison and his back after a pretty big scare he gave the Texas Rangers a couple of weeks ago when he had to return to DFW for an MRI after missing all but two April starts of the 2013 season.
Projected as the Rangers' No. 2 starter with the injury to Derek Holland that will sideline him until late summer, the Rangers can't really afford for Harrison to be out for any extended amount of time. And luckily for them, it seems he won't be. The stiff back Harrison experienced, by all accounts, was nothing more than the result of a soft mattress at his hotel in Arizona. Since changing that situation, he's been good.
On Wednesday he threw a bullpen session and reported no issues, and on Thursday he's scheduled to throw live batting practice with hopes of possibly getting into a Cactus League game sooner rather than later. Even still, with Harrison's setback, as trivial as it might seem, he will most likely start the season on the disabled list.
If the Rangers can get Harrison into their rotation by the second or third series of the season, at Tampa Bay or Boston, respectively, or at the latest by the fourth series, a home set against the Astros, they'll be good to go.
The only question that remains with Harrison is how long it will take him to get back to his 2011 and 2012 form, if ever. The Rangers' success, in a lot of ways, hinges on that question.